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A planar air levitated electrostatic actuator system

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3 Author(s)
Pister, K.S.J. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng. & Comput. Sci., California Univ., Berkeley, CA, USA ; Fearing, R. ; Howe, R.

The design and testing of a micromotor capable of moving multiple objects in three dimensions is discussed. The fixed surface of the motor, fabricated on a silicon wafer, contains air nozzles that levitate rigid platforms and conductive plates that generate an electric field to apply forces to platforms. Initial testing shows that the air nozzles form a stable very low friction bearing, and the motor is capable of several hundred microns of motion in two dimensions with fields generated by a 2 volt potential. Applications of this motor include a microrobotic work cell. Testing was limited to verification of the fundamental principles of operation, but experimental results indicate that a two-dimensional linear electrostatic stepper motor should be realizable with this process. In addition, it should be possible to control the vertical motion of the platforms by varying either the supply voltage or bearing pressure

Published in:

Micro Electro Mechanical Systems, 1990. Proceedings, An Investigation of Micro Structures, Sensors, Actuators, Machines and Robots. IEEE

Date of Conference:

11-14 Feb 1990