Mass Manufacturing of Self-Actuating Robots: Integrating Sensors and Actuators Using Flexible Electronics
Author(s)Dementyev, Artem; Qi, Jie; Ou, Jifei; Paradiso, Joseph A
MetadataShow full item record
Currently, the manufacturing of self-actuating and self-sensing robots requires non-standard manufacturing techniques and assembly steps to integrate electrical and mechanical systems. In this work, we developed a novel manufacturing technique, where such robots can be produced at a flexible electronics factory. We developed the technique using standard industrial machines, processes, and materials. Using a lamination process, we were able to integrate air pouches or shape memory alloy (SMA) inside a polyamide-based flexible circuit to produce bending actuators. The bend angle of the actuators is sensed with a chain of inertial measurement units integrated on the actuator. Air-pouch actuators can produce a force of a 2.24N, and a maximum bend angle of 74 degrees. To demonstrate, we manufactured a five-legged robot with the developed actuators and bend sensors, with all the supporting electronics (e.g., microcontrollers, radio) directly integrated into the flexible printed circuit. Such robots are flat and lightweight (15 grams) and thus conveniently compact for transportation and storage. We believe that our technique can allow inexpensive and fast prototyping and deployment of self-actuating and self-sensing robots.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Media Laboratory
IEEE/RSJ International Workshop on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 2018
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Dementyev, Artem, Jie Qi, Jifei Ou, and Joseph Paradiso. "Mass Manufacturing of Self-Actuating Robots: Integrating Sensors and Actuators Using Flexible Electronics." In Proceedings of the 2018 IEEE/RSJ International Workshop on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), October 1-5, 2018, Madrid, Spain, Madrid Municipal Conference Centre. © 2018 IEEE.
Author's final manuscript
INSPEC Accession Number: 18372725