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Wireless resonant magnetic microactuator for untethered mobile microrobots

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4 Author(s)
Vollmers, Karl ; Institute of Robotics and Intelligent Systems, ETH Zurich, CH-8092 Zurich, Switzerland ; Frutiger, D.R. ; Kratochvil, B.E. ; Nelson, B.J.

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Power and propulsion are primary challenges in building untethered submillimeter robots. We present a class of actuators utilizing wireless resonant magnetic actuation which accomplishes both tasks with a high degree of control. The actuator harvests magnetic energy from the environment and transforms it to impact-driven mechanical force. It can be powered and controlled with oscillating fields in the kilohertz range and strengths as low as 2 mT. The wireless resonant magnetic microactuator was incorporated in microrobots, which measure 300×300×70 μm3, that are capable of moving forward, backward, and turning in place while reaching speeds in excess of 12.5 mm/s.

Published in:

Applied Physics Letters  (Volume:92 ,  Issue: 14 )