Autonomous Jumping Microrobots
At the millimeter size scale, jumping can offer numerous advantages for efficient locomotion, including dealing with obstacles and potentially latching onto larger mobile hosts (larger robots, vehicles, etc).
Networked Mobile Robot Platform
The CotsBots are inexpensive and modular mobile robots built entirely from commercial off-the-shelf components. These robots provide a convenient platform on which to investigate algorithms, cooperation, and distributed sensing in large (> 50) robot networks.
Adding an elastomeric material to a silicon MEMS process can enable many applications, including jumping microrobots. For jumping robots, the elastomer is used as a micro rubber band to store mechanical energy. However, the elastomer can also be used for floppy springs, grippy surfaces, and for packaging.
Low-Power, Efficient MEMS Motors
Microrobots and other consumer technologies need high force, large displacement, low power motors. Electrostatic inchworm motors can provide milliNewtons of force along with millimeters of displacement. However, the efficiency of these actuators still needs to be improved.
PhotoBeacon Optical Localization System
The PhotoBeacon system is meant to provide a simple means for localizing many small, autonomous mobile robots (in particular, we are targeting the CotsBots). This system works using triangulation, or measuring the angles between robots.