BPN873: Small Autonomous Robot Actuator (SARA)


The Small Autonomous Robot Actuator (SARA) aims to integrate the Single Chip micro Mote (SCuM), a small millimeter scale solar panel and high voltage buffer (Zappy2), and a MEMS 40-100V inchworm motor that has been demonstrated to push a 7um diameter carbon filament through an adjustable width channel at speeds of 10um/s to 200um/s. SARA has been demonstrated to operate the inchworm motor at 1 Hz with 100V square waves under 200mW/cm2 on separate PCBs and transmit 802.15.4 packets with temperature estimates between 35.5-40 C with a 0.28 std error from SCuM to an OpenMote while on a quarter-scale PCB. The next steps are wirelessly controlling the MEMS motors with 100V signals from Zappy2 while under 200mW/cm2 -and on the quarter-scale PCB, precise control through contact sensor feedback and expanding the range of diameters possible to manipulate. We have designed MEMS motors capable of manipulating variable gauge filaments with the expressed intention of developing a microrobot able to assemble variable gauge filaments and wires from multiple non-ideal configurations, including bi-directional assembly and maneuvering. Additionally, we have designed MEMS motors with impact resistance in mind and that can withstand backlash that is present in many dynamic configurations. Future applications include an array of individually addressable neural electrode implanters, a microrobotic spider, a wound or fabric stitching microrobot, and plug-and-play linear servos for paper robots.

Project ended: 08/27/2021

Austin Patel
Andrew Fearing
Publication date: 
August 27, 2021
Publication type: 
BSAC Project Materials (Final/Archive)
PREPUBLICATION DATA - ©University of California 2021

*Only registered BSAC Industrial Members may view project materials & publications. Click here to request member-only access.