We are developing robust, high force, low power, and efficient MEMS inchworm motors for microrobots. So far, we have created 3x4.7mm motors in a 40um SOI process capable of linearly actuating a shuttle with 15mN force and 5mm/s travel at < 1mW power draw to > 50mm displacement. By integrating these motors into 550um thick reinforcing silicon substrate structures we created a microgripper capable of reliably lifting 1g weights and other macroscopic objects. We also showed gripper operation off solar power in BSAC project BPN873. Finally, we have analyzed motor efficiency, an important metric for power-constrained microrobots; we currently measure it near 5% but believe we can improve this to over 50%.
Project ended 08/23/2022