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Laser-Powered Sub-mm Untethered Microrobots

[+] Author Affiliations
Muhammed R. Pac, Dan O. Popa

The University of Texas at Arlington, Fort Worth, TX

Paper No. DETC2010-29011, pp. 863-872; 10 pages
  • ASME 2010 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 4: 12th International Conference on Advanced Vehicle and Tire Technologies; 4th International Conference on Micro- and Nanosystems
  • Montreal, Quebec, Canada, August 15–18, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4412-0 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3881-5
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


The paper discusses the promises and challenges of using laser as a source of energy and means of control for untethered microdevices. Achieving the desired device operation with available controls in the laser signal is a challenge that requires redesign of current microactuators and invention of new ones. In addition, for multiple target spots on a device, the laser beam can be multiplexed or separate lasers can be used simultaneously. Shaping of the control signal based on such variables of the laser as output power, pulse width, and beam spot is a combined effort of accordingly designing the microdevice and selecting the device materials. The paper presents a parametric design evaluation of two versions of stick-and-slip microrobots actuated by commonly used thermal actuators. A detailed parametric analysis with varying actuator geometries predicts that actuation at speeds comparable with electrostatically and electromagnetically actuated microrobots is also possible with laser power. Initial experiments on regular chevron actuators show that pulsed laser can be effectively used to drive microdevices.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME
Topics: Lasers



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