Triangular Prism and Slit Electrode Pair for ECF Jetting Fabricated by Thick Micromold and Electroforming as Micro Hydraulic Pressure Source for Soft Microrobots
Joon-Wan Kim*,†, Thanh V. X. Nguyen**, Kazuya Edamura***, and Shinichi Yokota*
*Precision and Intelligence Laboratory, Tokyo Institute of Technology
J3-12, 4259 Nagatsuta-cho, Midori-ku, Yokohama 226-8503, Japan
**Interdisciplinary Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Yokohama, Japan
***New Technology Management Co., Ltd., Tokyo, Japan
In this paper, we propose a triangular prism and slit electrode pair (TPSE) and its micromechanical systems (MEMS) fabrication process for a novel micropump using electro-conjugate fluid (ECF), which is based on a thick photoresist (KMPR) micromold (≥ 500 μm) and nickel electroforming. ECF is a kind of functional and dielectric fluid. The strong and active jet flow of an ECF is generated between two electrodes surrounded by the ECF when a high direct-current voltage is applied to the electrode pair. The micropumps generated by the ECF jetting can be used as micro hydraulic pressure sources for soft microrobots. By substituting these ECF micropumps for bulky air compressors or hydraulic pumps utilized in soft robots, we can realize advanced soft microrobots in which the driving sources are embedded. An MEMS-based TPSE for an ECF micropump was successfully fabricated by using the proposed MEMS fabrication process. The maximum output pressure without a flow and the flow rate without a load were 24.6 kPa and 27.5 mm3/s, respectively, at an applied voltage of 2 kV. The experimental results show that the MEMS-fabricated TPSE is a good candidate for electrode-type ECF micropumps utilized in various applications of soft microrobots whose pressure sources are embedded inside.
-  D. Trivedi, C. D. Rahn, W. M. Kier, and I. D. Walker, “Soft robotics: Biological inspiration, state of the art, and future research,” Applied Bionics and Biomechanics, Vol.5, pp. 99-117, September 2008.
-  S. Kim, C. Laschi, and B. Trimmer, “Soft robotics: a bioinspired evolution in robotics,” Trends in Biotechnology, Vol.31, pp. 287-294, May 2013.
-  D. Rus and M. T. Tolley, “Design, fabrication and control of soft robots,” Nature, Vol.521, pp. 467-475, May 2015.
-  R. V. Martinez, J. L. Branch, C. R. Fish, L. Jin, R. F. Shepherd, R. M. D. Nunes, Z. Suo, and G. M. Whitesides, “Robotic tentacles with three-dimensional mobility based on flexible elastomers,” Advanced Materials, Vol.13, pp. 205-212, January 2013.
-  K. Suzumori, S. Iikura, and H. Tanaka, “Applying a flexible microactuator to robotic mechanisms,” IEEE Control Systems, Vol.12, pp. 21-17, February 1992.
-  K. Suzumori, T. Maeda, H. Wantabe, and T. Hisada, “Fiberless flexible microactuator designed by finite-element method,” IEEE/ASME Trans. on Mechatronics, Vol.2, pp. 281-286, December 1997.
-  D. J. Laser and J. G. Santiago, “A review of micropumps,” J. of Micromechanics and Microengineering, Vol.14, pp. R35-R64, April 2004.
-  R. V. Raghavan, J. Qin, L. Y. Yeo, J. R. Friend, K. Takemura, S. Yokota, and K. Edamura, “Electrokinetic actuation of low conductivity dielectric liquids,” Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical, Vol.140, pp. 287-294, May 2009.
-  S. Yokota, A. Sadamoto, Y. Kondoh, Y. Otsubo, and K. Edamura, “A Micro Motor Using Electroconjugate Fluids (ECFs),” JSME Int. J. Series C Mechanical Systems, Machine Elements and Manufacturing, Vol.44, pp. 756-762, 2001.
-  S. Yokota, K. Kawamura, K. Takemura, and K. Edamura, “A high-integrated micromotor using electro-conjugate fluid (ECF),” J. of Robotics and Mechatronics, Vol.17, pp. 142-148, 2005.
-  K. Takemura, H. Kozuki, K. Edamura, and S. Yokota, “A micromotor using electro-conjugate fluid – Improvement of motor performance by using saw-toothed electrode series,” Sensors and Actuators A: Physical, Vol.140, pp. 131-137, October 2007.
-  R. Abe, K. Takemura, K. Edamura, and S. Yokota, “Concept of a micro finger using electro-conjugate fluid and fabrication of a large model prototype,” Sensors and Actuators A: Physical, Vol.136, pp. 629-637, May 2007.
-  A. Yamaguchi, K. Takemura, S. Yokota, and K. Edamura, “A robot hand using electro-conjugate fluid,” Sensors and Actuators A: Physical, Vol.170, pp. 139-146, November 2011.
-  A. Yamaguchi, K. Takemura, S. Yokota, and K. Edamura, “A robot hand using electro-conjugate fluid: Grasping experiment with balloon actuators inducing a palm motion of robot hand,” Sensors and Actuators A: Physical, Vol.174, pp. 181-188, February 2012.
-  K. Mori, A. Yamaguchi, K. Takemura, S. Yokota, and K. Edamura, “Control of a novel flexible finger using electro-conjugate fluid with built-in angle sensor,” Sensors and Actuators A: Physical, Vol.183, pp. 75-83, August 2012.
-  K. Takemura, S. Yokota, and K. Edamura, “Development and control of a micro artificial muscle cell using electro-conjugate fluid,” Sensors and Actuators A: Physical, Vol.133, pp. 493-499, February 2007.
-  K. Takemura, F. Yajima, S. Yokota, and K. Edamura, “Integration of micro artificial muscle cells using electro-conjugate fluid,” Sensors and Actuators A: Physical, Vol.144, pp. 348-353, June 2008.
-  A. Yamaguchi, K. Takemura, S. Yokota, and K. Edamura, “An In-Pipe Mobile Robot Using Electro-Conjugate Fluid,” J. of Advanced Mechanical Design, Systems, and Manufacturing, Vol.5, pp. 214-226, 2011.
-  S. Ueno, K. Takemura, S. Yokota, and K. Edamura, “Micro inchworm robot using electro-conjugate fluid,” Sensors and Actuators A: Physical, Vol.216, pp. 36-42, September 2014.
-  W.-S. Seo, K. Yoshida, S. Yokota, and K. Edamura, “A high performance planar pump using electro-conjugate fluid with improved electrode patterns,” Sensors and Actuators A: Physical, Vol.134, pp. 606-614, March 2007.
-  J.-W. Kim, T. Suzuki, S. Yokota, and K. Edamura, “Tube-type micropump by using electro-conjugated fluid (ECF),” Sensors and Actuators A: Physical, Vol.174, pp. 155-161, February 2012.
-  J.-W. Kim, T.V.X. Nguyen, S. Yokota, and K. Edamura, “MEMS-based tube-type micropump by using electro-conjugated fluid (ECF),” Proc. of XIX Int. Conf. on Electrical Machines (ICEM 2010), IEEE, Rome, Italy, September 2010.
-  C. H. Lee and K. Jiang, “Fabrication of thick electroforming micro mould using a KMPR negative tone photoresist,” J. of Micromechanics and Microengineering, Vol.18, pp. 055032 (7 pages), April 2008.
-  H. Lorenz, M. Despont, N. Fahrni, N. LaBianca, P. Renaud, and P. Vettiger, “SU-8: a low-cost negative resist for MEMS,” J. of Micromechanics and Microengineering, Vol.7, pp. 121-124, April 1997.
This article is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 Internationa License.