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Microhydraulic Actuators for Microrobotics
[Technical Report, Final Report]
MASSACHUSETTS INST OF TECH LEXINGTON
Pagination or Media Count:
Electrostatic motors have traditionally suffered from high voltage and low torque, leaving them with a vanishingly small portion of the motor application space. The lack of a robust electrostatic motor technology is of particular concern in microsystems, because inductive motors do not scale well to small dimensions. Often microsystem designers have to choose from a host of imperfect actuation solutions, leading to high voltage requirements or low efficiency and thus straining the power budget of the entire system. In this work we describe a scalable three-dimensional actuator technology that is based on the stacking of thin microhydraulic layers. This technology offers an actuation solution at 50 volts, with high force, high efficiency, fine stepping precision, layering, low abrasion, and resistance to pull-in instability. Actuator layers can also be stacked in different configurations trading off speed for force, and improve quadratically in power density when the internal dimensions are scaled down.
[A, Approved For Public Release]