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A vibrating microcantilever sensor for microrobotic applications
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Microsystems Technology.
Center for Applied Research in Micro Engineering, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pontedera, Italy.
(English)In: Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, ISSN 0960-1317, E-ISSN 1361-6439Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

In order to actively interact with the environment and to perform advanced tasks, microrobots need to be equipped with sensing tools to detect object and obstacles, and eventually manipulate and transport micro-parts. The concept, design, simulations and first characterization of a simple multifunctional microsystem, a vibrating microcantilever, capable of working as touch sensor and potentially as manipulation tool with feedback sensing is presented. The presented microcantilever was designed to be integrated onboard a microrobot of about 3 × 3 × 3 mm3. The microcantilever is applied as a sensing antenna on the microrobot in order to recognize objects or obstacles through direct contact, causing a voltage drop in a feedback layer. The microcantilever produced is 2.85×0.45×0.098 mm, and the experiments verified that it could be used as a contact sensor featuring high sensitivity with extremely low power consumption and good mass-manufacturability.

URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-108495OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-108495DiVA: diva2:236049
Available from: 2009-09-20 Created: 2009-09-20 Last updated: 2011-01-10Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Applications of active materials
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Applications of active materials
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Energy efficiency is a vital key component when designing and miniaturizing self sustained microsystems. The smaller the system, the smaller is the possibility to store enough stored energy for a long and continuous operational time. To move such a system in an energy efficient way, a piezoelectrical locomotion module consisting of four resonating cantilevers has been designed, manufactured and evaluated in this work. The combination of a suitable substrate, a multilayered piezoelectric material to reduce the voltage, and a resonating drive mechanism resulted in a low power demand.

A manufacturing process for multilayer cantilever actuators made of P(VDF-TrFE) with aluminum electrodes on a substrate of flexible printed circuit board (FPC), has been developed. An important step in this process was the development of an etch recipe for dry etching the multilayer actuators in an inductive plasma equipment.

Formulas for the quasi static tip deflection and resonance frequency of a multilayered cantilever, have been derived. Through theses, it was found that the multilayered structures should be deposited on the polymer side of the FPC in order to maximize the tip deflection.

Both a large and a miniaturized locomotion module were manufactured and connected by wires to verify that the three legged motion principal worked to move the structures forward and backward, and turn it right and left. By touching and adding load, to a fourth miniaturized cantilever, its ability to act as a contact sensor and carry object was verified.

The presented locomotion module is part of a multifunctional microsystem, intended to be energy efficient and powered by a solar panel with a total volume of less than 25 mm3 and weight 65 mg. The whole system, consisting of a solar cell, an infra red communication module, an integrated circuit for control, three capacitors for power regulating, the locomotion module and an FPC connecting the different modules, was surface mounted using a state of the art industrial facility. Two fully assembled systems could be programmed both through a test connector and through optical sensors in the multifunctional solar cell. One of these was folded together to the final configuration of a robot. However, the entire system could not be tested under full autonomous operating conditions. On the other hand, using wires, the locomotion module could be operated and used to move the entire system from a peak-to-peak voltage of 3.0 V.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2009. 77 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 672
Energy efficient, microsystem, resonating cantilevers, microactuators, P(VDF-TrFE), surface mounting assembly, multi layers, flexible printed circuit board, conveyer, three legged
National Category
Materials Engineering
Research subject
Materials Science
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-108696 (URN)978-91-554-7609-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2009-10-30, 2001, Ångström Laboratory, Uppsala, 10:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2009-10-09 Created: 2009-09-28 Last updated: 2009-10-09Bibliographically approved

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