As the capability and complexity of robotic platforms continue to evolve from the macro to micro-scale, innovation of such systems is driven by the notion that a robot must be able to sense, think, and act.
The traditional architecture of a robotic platform consists of a structural layer upon which, actuators, controls, power, and communication modules are integrated for optimal system performance. The structural layer, for many micro-scale platforms, has commonly been implemented using a silicon die, thus leading to robotic platforms referred to as “walking chips”.
In this thesis, the first-ever jumping microrobotic platform is demonstrated using a hybrid integration approach to assemble on-board sensing and power directly onto a polymer chassis. The microrobot detects a change in light intensity and ignites 0.21mg of integrated nanoporous energetic silicon, resulting in 246µJ of kinetic energy and a vertical jump height of 8cm.
Source: University of Maryland
Author: Wayne A. Churaman