Project 4: Fantastic Voyage: Microrobots using MEMS and MicroAssembly (Prof. Dan Popa, ECE)

Advanced manufacturing Topic: Microrobots of the future will be able to carry out “Fantastic Voyages” inside our bodies, help treat tumors and carry out surgical procedures.  They will also help personal desktop factories handle tiny nanometer-sized components in order to build the next generation materials and electronic devices. In this project students will be exposed to the design, simulation, fabrication and packaging aspects of microrobots with a total dimensional volume of 1mm x 1mm x1mm. They will work alongside other research staff and students in Dr. Popa’s Next Generation Research Group (NGS, www.ngs.louisville.edu ). Microrobots in this project include the AFAM (Assembled four-axis microrobot), which is the world most dexterous millimeter-sized robot. Design and Simulation of AFAM utilizes the latest software tools including L-Edit, SolidWorks, LabVIEW and Gazebo. Fabrication of AFA  is performed with cleanroom compatible processing in the U of L MNTC using Silicon on Insulator wafers, and 3D printing of strain gage sensors directly on robot parts. Packaging is realized with unique robotic microassembly technology at NGS and interconnect to specially-designed electronic drivers. Students will be exposed to the project as a whole, and then will be able to focus in more detail on a single particular aspect of the project according to their skills and interests. This project is suited for students interested in EE, ME, CS/CE, Material Science, and Physics.