Researchers could Mass-Produce Robots on a Chip

Technology.am (Aug 29, 2009) — One day tiny robots could be mass-produced and programmed for surveillance and micro manufacturing.

iswarmThe researchers said that an entire robot would be integrated involving communication, locomotion, energy storage, and electronics – in different modules on a single circuit board.

A single microrobot by itself is a simple individual, but when in a group they communicate with each other using infrared sensors and interact with their environment thereby establishing swarm intelligence to show more complex behavior.

In the past, the single-chip robot concept has presented. When they have to mount electrical components on a printed circuit board, they used conductive adhesive to attach the components to a double-sided flexible printed circuit board. The circuit board is then folded to create a three-dimensional robot.

However, to connect the naked integrated circuit to the flexible printed circuit board by the conductive adhesive is a problem. Some solar cells did not stick due to weak adhesion. So, the robots were folded manually.

But the researchers are designing a tool to enable faster and more accurate alignment when folding. Many of these complications could be corrected with new results by which the microrobots can be assembled using a surface mounting machine, whereas earlier robots have been manually assembled.

The resulting robots measure less than 4 mm and powered by a solar cell on top, and move by three vibrating legs. A fourth vibrating leg is used as a touch sensor.

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