4 June 2014 Tactile sensing and compliance in MicroStressBot assemblies
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Abstract
Microassembly is one of the applications successfully implemented by group of individually-controllable MEMS microrobots (MicroStressBots). Although the robots are controlled using a centralized optical closed-loop control systems, i.e., a camera mounted on top of a microscope, compliance and self-alignment were used to successfully reduce the control error and permit precise assembly of planar structures. In this work, we further explore the possibility of using compliance to facilitate docking between MicroStressBots. The forces generated by the docking surfaces create a local attractor (pre-image of the goal configuration) that facilitates alignment between the two structures. Through this interaction the robot senses and aligns its position to match the desired configuration. Specifically, in this work we examine two cases: a) docking of two microrobots with straight front edges that promote sliding, and b) docking of two microrobots with patterned edges that restricted sliding between the two robots. In the former case, the robots are engaged in mutual alignment, which is akin to pairwise Self Assembly (SA). This allows generation of highly accurate seed-shapes for further assembly. In the latter case, the robots with matching pattern edges can dock and successfully align. Here, the patterned edge functions as a lock-and-key mechanism, and is akin to the selective affinity in SA-systems. The difference however between a system of MicroStressBots and SA is that MicroStressBots contain active on-board propulsion compared with passive SA systems.
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Ratul Majumdar, Ratul Majumdar, Vahid Foroutan, Vahid Foroutan, Igor Paprotny, Igor Paprotny, } "Tactile sensing and compliance in MicroStressBot assemblies", Proc. SPIE 9116, Next-Generation Robots and Systems, 911604 (4 June 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2058239; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2058239
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