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Fast scale prototyping for folded millirobots

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2 Author(s)
Hoover, A.M. ; Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, USA ; Fearing, R.S.

We present a set of tools and a process, making use of inexpensive and environmentally friendly materials, that enable the rapid realization of fully functional large scale prototypes of folded mobile millirobots. By mimicking the smart composite microstructure (SCM) process at a 2–10X scale using posterboard, and commonly available polymer films, we can realize a prototype design in a matter of minutes compared with days for a complicated SCM design at the small scale. The time savings enable a significantly shorter design cycle by allowing for immediate discovery of design flaws and introduction of design improvements prior to beginning construction at the small scale. In addition, the technology eases the difficulty of visualizing and creating folded 3D structures from 2D parts. We use the example of a fully functional hexapedal crawling robot design to illustrate the process and to verify a scaling law which we propose.

Published in:

Robotics and Automation, 2008. ICRA 2008. IEEE International Conference on

Date of Conference:

19-23 May 2008