BPN948: Wireless Tactile Stimulation with MEMS Inchworm Motors


The goal of this project is to make an untethered MEMS tactile stimulator. Electrostatic inchworm motors made in SOI substrates routinely generate 1-15 mN of force and 2 mm/s travel, making them a viable option for a millimeter-scale wireless tactile stimulator. Collaborating with Professor Eric Paulos and his students, our first step is to conduct haptic sensation surveys in order to understand what a user feels based on different forces. Our current chips provide a force range of 1mN up to 15mN, but we plan to increase this in the future. Our next step would be to integrate the MEMS taction pokers with a solar-powered high- voltage buffer (Zappy) and a Single Chip micro Mote (SCuM) to provide power and a processor, respectively. Once those three devices are fully integrated, and there is an understanding of the what the user feels based on the motors force, an array of wearables could be used to create a more complex haptic sensations used as medical tools, notification systems, and creating a more immersive VR experience.

Project ended: 01/23/2023

Publication date: 
August 22, 2022
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.