Rapid Polymer Prototyping for Low Cost and Robust Microrobots
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The Rapid Microrobot Prototyping (RaMP) Process uses Loctite(R) photo-patternable polymer products and photolithography to rapidly fabricate robust, inexpensive, and compliant robots. The process is developed and examined on two size scales. On the size scale of several centimeters, two functional robots and a small gripper have been designed and demonstrated with shape memory alloy (SMA) used for actuation. The gripper is 1.2g and costs $3.21 while the inchworm robot is 7.4g and costs $7.76 in small numbers. The second robot costs $14.93 in small numbers. On the sub-centimeter scale, designs and considerations for a walking microrobot fabricated with the process and its control are fully described. The design and kinematics of a thermally actuated, one degree of freedom leg for the microrobot are developed and simulated. Several of these units could be combined to rapidly build a 30 mg functional and simple walking microrobot with the ability to lift several grams.