Keyword: novel fabrication techniques

Integrated Manufacture of Exoskeletons and Sensing Structures for Folded Millirobots
May 2015

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.


Surface and Shape Deposition Manufacturing for the Fabrication of a Curved Surface Gripper
May 2015

Structures in nature frequently combine hard and soft materials and exhibit functional and geometric features ranging from microscopic to macroscopic. To assist in developing new bio-inspired structures and mechanisms, we present a multi-material fabrication process for creating flexible structures with feature lengths ranging from centimeters to micrometers in a single structure. The process is demonstrated for a flexible gripper that grasps curved surfaces using gecko-inspired adhesives.


Robogami: A Fully Integrated Low-Profile Robotic Origami
May 2015

Robogamis are low-profile robotic sheets with multiple bending degrees of freedom. Layer by layer fabrication method of these robots allows embedment of different functional layers. The sub-millimeter thickness of Robogamis enables diverse transformations as those achievable by the paper Origami. The presented Robogami shows the first fully integrated version that has all the essential components for locomotion of a crawler robot.


Foldable Joints for Foldable Robots
May 2015

Origami-inspired robot designs have the potential to be faster, cheaper, and easier to fabricate than robots made through traditional manufacturing methods. In this paper, we show how a variety of basic joints used in robots can be folded from a flat sheet. The joints can be combined with each other and with rigid bodies to produce entire foldable linkages that can be actuated using circuitry integrated directly on the linkage surface. We have designed, folded, and actuated two robots using our joints, showing that it is possible to create robots using a uniform print and fold process.