The VIACTTM is a new MEMS electrostatic actuator technology potentially capable of realising a number of batchfabricated
actuator/sensor transducers including those deflecting in the same or opposite directions, bi-directional, 1D and 2D. The technology can be applied to a wide range of microrobotic and micromechanic applications. This paper reports FEA modelling and simulation, using ANSYS software, of the electromechanical parts of a MEMS-based
multitasking walking microrobot, capable of locomotion and equipped with a number of microtools. The few mm2 microrobot comprises a number of VIACTTM cascade microactuators forming eight legs for forward/backward locomotion (via CMS) and side turn and tilt, a microscoop, a combination microtool for gripping, digging, sampling, cutting and lifting tasks, an antenna and solar panel deployment mechanisms. The output energy capability of these
actuators is approximately 500 and 1700 pJ/mm2 at 35 and 65 volt, respectively, giving microrobot's load-carrying capability of 10x and 25x its own weight at 35 and 65 volts, respectively. When integrated with smart electronics and/or power supply, the microrobot can potentially be remotely-controlled or autonomous. With two structural polysilicon layers and one insulating layer, the whole structure can be batch-fabricated using conventional micromachining
techniques. Among its applications include micromanipulation, microassembley and chemical and biological microwaste disposal.