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Pages 546-553
First published 2 September 2013

Insect Type MEMS Micro Robot Controlled by CMOS IC of Hardware Neural Networks

Minami Takato, Shinpei Yamasaki, Shiho Takahama, Junichi Tanida, Ken Saito, Fumio Uchikoba


This paper describes insect type micro robots controlled by a CMOS IC of hardware neural networks. The micro robot is fabricated by the micro electro mechanical systems (MEMS) technology using a silicon wafer, and the actuator is composed of artificial muscle wires on the basis of shape memory alloy. Insect-like walking is achieved by link mechanisms that transform the actuator's rotational motion to locomotive motion. The CMOS IC generates the driving waveform of the micro robot and realizes insect-like walking. The hardware neural networks are built as cell body models and inhibitory synaptic models. The output signal ports of the hardware neural networks are connected to the artificial-muscle-wire-driving circuit. This robot system does not require specialized software programs and A/D converters. The developed neural networks are composed of self-functioning, interconnected plural unit neurons. For proper driving, each neuron in the developed neural network control must be synchronized, as occurs in the neural networks of living organisms. In this study, the motion of the MEMS micro robot is controlled by non-synchronization and anti-phase synchronization driving waveforms. When the nonsynchronization driving waveform is input, the micro robot ceases walking motion, but resumes walking upon receipt of the anti-phase synchronization driving waveform. The sideways, endways, and height dimensions of the fabricated micro robot are 4.0 mm, 2.7 mm and 2.5 mm, respectively. The obtained locomotion speed is 26.4 mm/min and the step width is 0.88 mm.