Desktop Rapid Prototyping Millirobots

Desktop Rapid Prototyping Millirobots

The goal of the NSF supported Desktop Rapid Prototyping Millirobots project is to develop an automatic tool for low-volume, low latency fabrication of millirobots, such as the Micromechanical Flying Insect. Rapid prototyping will be accomplished by the combination of dextrous micro-manipulation, bonding, and folding operations. The main component of the system for dextrous manipulation is the Orthotweezers System developed by Eiji Shimada and Jeff Thompson. As shown below, we have made initial steps in semi-automatic placement of semiconductor strain gauges and in folding the stainless steel beams used in the structure of our millirobots.

Sponsored by NSF DMII Program.


Artist's conception of milli-robot assembly cell with orthotweezers handling hollow triangular beam.


SemiAutomatic Strain Gauge Placement

1. Positioning handling block above strain gauge using orthotweezers. 2. Bonding handling brick to strain gauge using low melting point wax. (Movie) 3. Lifting strain gauge from GelPak. (Movie)

Structural Members

1. Semi-automatically folded stainless steel beam, 1 mm by 10 mm long. 2. Lifting triangular beam using handling brick.