Physical Sensors & Devices

Research that includes:

  • Silicon MEMS actuators: comb, electro-thermal, and plastic deformation
  • Precision electronic sensing and measurements of capacitive, frequency, and coulombic MEMS variables
  • Structures and architectures for gyroscopes, accelerometers, micro strain gauges for direct application to rigid structures e.g., steel, and levitated MEMS

BPN962: Insect-Scale Flying Robots

Fanping Sui
Kamyar Behrouzi
Wei Yue

Insect-scale untethered flight with maneuverability is very challenging toward possible practical applications and attitude-stabilized flight (hovering) is one of the first steps for long-time air flight operations. In this project, we introduce the insect-scale, untethered, rotating-wing aerial vehicles with inherent stability by the gyroscopic effect to achieve several key advancements: (1) powered by alternating magnetic fields wirelessly; (2) 160-mg in weight and 20.0-mm-in-diameter in size – smallest untethered flying robot in the world; and (3) attitude-stabilized flights (...

BPN961: Scalable Photonic Integrated Circuits for Trapped Ion Quantum Computers

Daniel Klawson
Sara Mouradian
Rohan Kumar

Quantum computing is a new paradigm of computing that promises exponential performance increases for certain tasks as compared to classical computers. Trapped ions have been identified as a favorable medium – trapped ion quantum computers perform operations on singular atoms with precisely aimed laser pulses calibrated to state transitions within the ions’ energy levels. Bulk free space optics are currently used for qubit manipulation, but the large amount of optical equipment required hinders scalability. Recent pushes to build higher bit systems have identified photonic integrated...

BPN959: Self-Righting for Micro Robots

Alexander Alvara

In developing micro-robots for exploration in non-uniform terrain, it is often the case that robots fall over. This work seeks to provide a solution in the self-righting of autonomous micro-robots to overturn a 1cc, 1 gram cube microrobot with regular octahedral symmetry that has fallen on either of its four sides and overturning said microrobot once upside down. Our design currently consists of a 3-bar linkage in conjunction with an electrostatic inchworm motor. First-generation devices are in fab as of August. Hand analysis indicates that self-righting from any face should be...

BPN956: Time-of-Flight Hardware for the Solar Probe ANalyzer for Ions (SPAN-Ion)

Lydia Lee

Monitoring and building our understanding of space weather is necessary to protect current and future astronauts and hardware, as well as further our understanding of its effects on atmospheric development and loss. This project seeks to develop a radiation-hardened sensor frontend in order to measure the ion composition of the solar wind aboard the Solar Probe ANalyzer for Ions (SPAN-Ion). SPAN-Ion uses time-of-flight mass spectrometry to distinguish ions by their mass: charge ratios; the target architecture for future missions decreases mass and increases speed in exchange for several...

BPN951: Berkeley Low-cost Interplanetary Solar Sail (BLISS)

Alexander Alvara
Nathan Lambert
Lydia Lee

Space exploration often costs multiple millions of dollars for each exploratory mission to get a single piece of equipment into orbit. These missions usually return information in the form of scans or images or samples in the form of extracted material. This work proposes the manufacture and deployment of thousands of imaging capable solar sails systems with 10 gram payloads. Power generation is enabled through solar panels and batteries. Navigation is enabled through one square meter solar sails maneuvered by inchworm motors. Communications are enabled by laser transmitters and SPAD...

BPN949: Optoelectronic Reservoir Computing

Philip L. Jacobson

As the demand for faster, more efficient training of neural networks continues to grow, specialized photonic hardware has emerged as a potential alternative to classical computers for AI applications. Reservoir Computing (RC), a lightweight alternative to computationally-intensive Recurrent Neural Networks, has been demonstrated to be possible using simple delay dynamical systems. We propose an optoelectronic implementation of this architecture through a Mach-Zehnder modulator driven by delayed feedback from a laser. We introduce a new optoelectronic scheme in which input data is first pre...

BPN941: Ultrasound-Induced Haptic Interface

Sedat Pala

The next big thing, AR/VR, requires an immersive Human Machine Interface (HMI) in addition to visual and sound stimuli. Although skin is the biggest organ in the human body, very few efforts compared to visual and auditory senses have been done to develop a “sense of touch”. The mechanical stimulus to generate the touch sense by the embedded mechanoreceptors in the skin at different depths has been created in many ways as vibratory actuators, microneedles, etc. In this project, we are investigating to create haptic interface via radiation force generated by piezoelectric...

BPN940: Self-healing Materials for Sensing, Energy Storage and Harvesting Applications

Peisheng He
Yu Long
Yande Peng

Animal skins often possess both functions of sensing and actuating to detect external stimulations and change shapes when needed, respectively. Furthermore, many animals, such as jellyfish and leptocephalus (eel larvae) have tissues that are transparent and ultra-stretchable, which are difficult to build in synthetic sensors and actuators. Moreover, all these living skins have self-healing properties, i.e. to restore their critical functions after being damaged. On the contrary, artificial electronic systems are often brittle and non-transparent. As such, biomimetic, skin-like...

BPN914: Semiconducting Metal Oxide Nanocomposites for Electronic Gas Sensors

Isaac Zakaria
Yaprak Ozbakir
Zhou Li

Chemiresistive sensors, which transduce target gas concentrations based on the change in resistance of a sensing material, provide sensitive, low-cost detection of gaseous analytes in applications such as environmental monitoring, quality control, and clinical diagnostics. Semiconducting metal oxides (MOX) such as SnO2 are an industry-standard material system for chemiresistive sensing. We aim to develop MOX-based sensors with stable long-term characteristics by investigating how the structural and electronic properties of MOX respond to different operating temperatures, durations,...

BPN877: Pulse Acquisition and Diagnosis for Health Monitoring

Ruiqi Guo

Traditional Chinese medicine(TCM) has existed for more than two thousand years and one of the important diagnostic methods is the pulse diagnosis. It generally takes decades of training for a practitioner to master this skill as pulse acquisition and diagnosis require long-term experiences and are very subjective. The project aims to use the combination of advanced sensor technology and artificial intelligence to emulate the TCM practice for health monitoring. A flexible piezoelectric film is designed to record the wrist pulse data. A group of representative pulse features has been...