Special Issue on Microrobots
Associate Professor, Kagawa University
Micromechatronics has become a key issue in engineering. Robotics and mechatronics are a global concern. Micromechatronics contributes especially to the development of electrical and mechanical systems through miniaturization and advanced functions. Micromechatronics was defined by Prof. Fukuda, Prof. Fujita et. al in the 1980’s. In 1980’s, Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) was developed in the USA and then expanded to Japan and Germany. In the same time frame, devices based on precious machining technology were miniaturized in Japan and Switzerland as Michromachine. MEMS combines electronics and mechatronics and promotes new-conceptual devices such as intellectual sensors, e.g., pressure and acceleration sensors. Precious machining has improved manufacturing and achieved the find control. Thorough these development, Micromechatronics was born as an integrated technology. This special issue introduces basic technologies and applications of micromechatronics, which includes such vital technologies as mechanical, electric, and electrical engineering, machining, and MEMS. This issue, which features several topics on micromechatronics, will give readers a welcome chance to acquaint themselves with state-of-the-art information on micromechatronics. This issue contains nine technical papers on micro robots, intelligent microsensors, and their applications, together with related letters. It opens with a paper on microsensors by Fujiyoshi et al. and the application of miniaturized motors to a robotic hand by Nishibori et al. Included also are articles on micro robots by Aoyama, Torii, Wakimoto and Guo, work on unique micromanipulation systems by Nakamura et al., and the application of micro units to robotic systems by Yamada et al. Letters discuss objectives and achievements of micro robot contests held in Japan that serve to popularize and disseminate unique mechanisms and new concepts in this exciting field. I am certain this issue will provide readers with information that is both interesting and informative. In closing, I would like to thank the authors, members of the editorial board, and the publisher, without whose hard work and careful consideration this issue would not have been possible.
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