Stevens Institute Takes Third at Microrobot Event
A team from Stevens Institute of Technology consisting
of undergraduate student Sean Lyttle, along with graduate
students Wuming Jing, Xi Chen, and Zhenbo Fu, and led by
Professors David Cappelleri, Jan Nazalewicz, and Yong Shi
from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, placed
third in the Freestyle Competition of the IEEE/National
Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Mobile
Microrobotics Challenge held at the IEEE International
Conference on Robotics and Automation in Anchorage,
Alaska from May 3-10, 2010. The Stevens team was one of
only six teams to qualify for the final round of the Mobile
Microrobotics Challenge held at the conference.
The team designed and manufactured a micro-scale
magnetostrictive asymmetric thin film bimorph (µMAB )
microrobot for the competition. Utilizing the
magnetostrictive principle, different bending and blocking
forces occur under the arched µMAB due to the in-plane
strain generated in the bimorphs by the application of
oscillating external magnetic fields in the workspace of the
microrobot. The differences in the resulting frictional forces
drive the movement of the robot body.
Stevens team at their table at the Mobile Microrobotics Challenge.
From left to right: Wuming Jing, Zhenbo Fu, Xi Chen, and Prof.
The Two-Millimeter Dash
Microrobots must insert pegs into designated holes in a
planar assembly framework.
Event to highlight the strengths of their microrobot
design by performing a task of the teams’ choosing.
Stevens participated in both the Two-Millimeter Dash
and Freestyle Competition events at the Challenge. The
team's µMAB microrobot had one of the fastest individual
runs of the Two-Millimeter Dash event at only 0.027
seconds. The final scoring for the event was the average
time across three runs; the team placed 5th out of 11
teams for this event.
In the Freestyle Competition, the team programmed
their microrobot to automatically move in both a square
and X-shaped pattern inside the 3 mm x 2 mm playing
field. Stevens placed third in the Freestyle Competition
behind teams from ETH Zurich and Carnegie Mellon
Robot Design Features:
Materials of Construction: Nickel and Copper
Drive Mechanism: Externally Applied Magnetic Fields
Capabilities: Capable of being controlled with both oscillating
and gradient magnetic fields. Properly tuned oscillating fields
cause vibrations in the robot, resulting in turning or walking.
Gradient magnetic fields can be used for steering the robot or for
pushing/pulling of the robot for very fast movements.
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