Integrated Manufacture of Exoskeletons and Sensing Structures for Folded Millirobots

Our prior work has shown that the Smart Composite Microstructures (SCM) process can be applied to produce folded millirobots that do not compromise on performance. The next frontier of this research is to bring these robots outside, into unknown and hazardous environments where needs for protection and sensing will be determined by task. To make this translation we present rapid, and low-cost manufacturing methods for more robust SCM structures, protective exoskeletons that aid locomotion, anisotropic claws that double traction, integrated tactile sensing arrays, and print-in-place strain gauges. These new structures protect SCM millirobots and add to their capabilities in ways that broaden their applicability to real-world situations.