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Get back in shape! [SMA self-reconfigurable microrobots]

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6 Author(s)

Self-reconfigurable robotic systems composed of multiple modules have been investigated intensively with respect to their versatility, flexibility, and fault-tolerance. Although some microscale self-assembly systems have been reported, they are passively assembled to predetermined shape by surface tension in an irreversible manner and cannot form arbitrary shapes. To develop a modular microrobot that can actively reconfigure itself, we adopt an actuating mechanism driven by a shape memory alloy (SMA). One of the advantages of an SMA actuator is that it keeps a higher power-weight ratio on microscales than electromagnetic motors.

Published in:

IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine  (Volume:9 ,  Issue: 4 )