Silicon Micro-Robot with Neural Networks

Silicon Micro-Robot with Neural Networks

Ken Saito (Nihon University, Japan), Minami Takato (Nihon University, Japan), Yoshifumi Sekine (Nihon University, Japan) and Fumio Uchikoba (Nihon University, Japan)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4225-6.ch001
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Insect type 4.0, 2.7, 2.5 mm. width, length, height size silicon micro-robot system with active hardware neural networks locomotion controlling system is presented in this chapter. The micro-robot system was made from a silicon wafer fabricated by Micro-Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) technology. The mechanical system of the robot equipped with millimeter-size rotary type actuators, link mechanisms, and six legs to realize the insect-like switching behavior. In addition, the authors constructed the active hardware neural networks by analog CMOS circuits as a locomotion controlling system. Hardware neural networks consisted of pulse-type hardware neuron models as basic components. Pulse-type hardware neuron model has same basic features of biological neurons such as threshold, refractory period, spatio-temporal summation characteristics, and enables the generation of continuous action potentials. The hardware neural networks output the driving pulses using synchronization phenomena such as biological neural networks. Four output signal ports are extracted from hardware neural networks, and they are connected to the actuators. The driving pulses can operate the actuators of silicon micro-robot directly. Therefore, the hardware neural networks realize the robot control without using any software programs or A/D converters. The micro-robot emulates the locomotion method and the neural networks of an insect with rotary type actuators, link mechanisms, and hardware neural networks. The micro-robot performs forward and backward locomotion, and also changes direction by inputting an external trigger pulse. The locomotion speed was 26.4 mm/min when the step width was 0.88 mm.
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Silicon Micro-Robot

We constructed the miniaturized robot by MEMS technology. In this section, the basic components of the fabricated silicon micro-robot were shown. The number of the legs of the silicon micro-robot was six. The structure and the step pattern of the robot was emulated those of an ant. The micro-robot consisted of frame parts, rotary type actuators and link mechanisms.

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