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Award Abstract #0931878

CPS:Medium:Ant-Like Microrobots - Fast, Small, and Under Control

NSF Org: CNS
Division Of Computer and Network Systems
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Initial Amendment Date: September 24, 2009
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Latest Amendment Date: August 26, 2011
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Award Number: 0931878
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Award Instrument: Continuing grant
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Program Manager: Ralph Wachter
CNS Division Of Computer and Network Systems
CSE Direct For Computer & Info Scie & Enginr
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Start Date: October 1, 2009
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End Date: September 30, 2014 (Estimated)
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Awarded Amount to Date: $1,516,000.00
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Investigator(s): Nuno Miguel Martins nmartins@isr.umd.edu (Principal Investigator)
Elisabeth Smela (Co-Principal Investigator)
Sarah Bergbreiter (Co-Principal Investigator)
Pamela Abshire (Co-Principal Investigator)
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Sponsor: University of Maryland College Park
3112 LEE BLDG 7809 Regents Drive
COLLEGE PARK, MD 20742-5141 (301)405-6269
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NSF Program(s): INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY RESEARC,
COMPUTER SYSTEMS,
CYBER-PHYSICAL SYSTEMS (CPS)
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Program Reference Code(s): 7918, 9178, 9216, 9218, 9251, HPCC, 9102
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Program Element Code(s): 1640, 7354, 7918

ABSTRACT

The objective of this research is to discover new fundamental principles, design methods, and technologies for realizing distributed networks of sub-cm3, ant-sized mobile micro-robots that self-organize into cooperative configurations. The approach is intrinsically interdisciplinary and organized along four main thrusts: (1) Algorithms for distributed coordination and control under severe power, communication, and mobility constraints. (2) Electronics for robot control using event-based communication and computation, ultra-low-power radio, and adaptive analog-digital integrated circuits. (3) Locomotion devices and efficient actuators using rapid-prototyping and MEMS technologies that can operate robustly under real-world conditions. (4) Integration of the algorithms, electronics, and actuators into a fleet of ant-size micro-robots.

No robots at the sub-cm3 scale exist because their development faces a number of open challenges. This research will identify and determine means for solving these challenges. In addition, it will provide new solutions to outstanding questions about resource-constrained algorithms, architectures, and actuators that can be widely leveraged in other applications. The PIs will adopt a co-design philosophy that promotes cross-disciplinary research and tight collaboration.

Networks of ant-sized robots are expected to be useful in disaster relief, manufacturing, warehouse management, and ecological monitoring, as well as in new unforeseen applications. In addition, the new methods and principles proposed here can be transitioned to other highly-distributed and resource-constrained engineering problems, such as air-traffic control systems. This research program will train Ph.D. students with unique skills in the design of hybrid distributed networks and it will involve undergraduate students, particularly underrepresented minorities and women.


PUBLICATIONS PRODUCED AS A RESULT OF THIS RESEARCH

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A. P. Gerratt and S. Bergbreiter. "Microfabrication of compliant all-polymer MEMS Actuators," Sensors and Actuators A - Physical, v.177, 2012, p. 1.

B. Balakrisnan, A. Nacev, J. M. Burke, A. Dasgupta, and E. Smela. "Design of compliant meanders for applications in MEMS, actuators, and flexible electronics," Smart Mater. Struct, 2012.

S. Alben, B. Balakrisnan, and E. Smela. "Edge effects determine the direction of bilayer bending," Nano Lett., v.11, 2011, p. 2280.

A. P. Gerratt and S. Bergbreiter. "Incorporating compliant elastomers for jumping locomotion in microrobots," Smart Materials and Structures, v.22, 2013, p. 014010.

A. P. Gerratt, I. Penskiy, and S. Bergbreiter. "In-situ Characterization of PDMS in SOI- MEMS," Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, v.23, 2013, p. 045003.

A. P. Gerratt and S. Bergbreiter. "Dielectric Breakdown of PDMS Thin Films," Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, v.23, 2013, p. 067001.

B. Balakrisnan, A. Nacev, J. M. Burke, A. Dasgupta, and E. Smela. "Design of compliant meanders for applications in MEMS, actuators, and flexible electronics," Smart Mater. Struct., v.21, 2012, p. 075033.

T.-H. Lee and P. A. Abshire. "Design and Characterization of High-Voltage NMOS Structures in a 0.5 ?m Standard CMOS Process," IEEE Sensors Journal, v.13, 2013, p. 2906. 

E. Arvelo and N. C. Martins. "Maximizing the Set of Recurrent States of an MDP, Subject to Convex Constraints," Automatica, 2014.

S. Sabau and N.C. Martins. "Stabilizability and Norm-Optimal Control Design subject to Sparsity Constraints," IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, 2014.


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BOOKS/ONE TIME PROCEEDING

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Serban Sabau and Nuno Martins. "Norm-optimal Design of a Single Block of a Block-Diagonal Controller", 10/01/2010-09/30/2011,  2011, "15th Yale
Workshop on Adaptive and Learning Systems".

Wann-Jiun Ma, Eduardo Arvelo and Nuno Martins. "Designing Networked Control Architectures
for Incremental Robustness", 10/01/2010-09/30/2011,  2011, "World Congress of the International Federation of Automatic Control".

Eduardo Arvelo and Nuno C. Martins. "A Receding Horizon Strategy Subject to
Interval-Wise Energy Constraints", 10/01/2010-09/30/2011,  2011, "IEEE Conference on Decision and Control (CDC)".

C. Perkins, L. Lei, M. Kuhlman, T. H. Lee, G. Gateau, S. Bergbreiter and P. Abshire. "Distance Sensing for Mini-Robots: RSSI vs. TDOA", 10/01/2010-09/30/2011,  2011, "? IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, May 15-18, 2011".

T. Datta, A. Turner, and P. Abshire. "Towards A Legged Chip", 10/01/2010-09/30/2011,  2011, "IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, May 15-18, 2011.".

B. Balakrisnan and E. Smela. "Micro-Scale Electroactive Polymers: Dielectric Elastomer Actuators", 10/01/2010-09/30/2011,  2011, "Gordon Research Conference and Gordon Research Seminar (Polymers), South Hadley, MA (Jun 11-17, 2011).".

A. P. Gerratt, B. Balakrisnan, I. Penskiy, and S. Bergbreiter. "Batch fabricated bidirectional dielectric elastomer actuators", 10/01/2010-09/30/2011,  2011, "Transducers, Beijing, 2011".

Serban Sabau and Nuno Martins. "Norm-optimal Design of a Single Block of a Block-Diagonal Controller", 10/01/2011-09/30/2012,  2011, "15th Yale
Workshop on Adaptive and Learning Systems".

Wann-Jiun Ma, Eduardo Arvelo and Nuno Martins. "Designing Networked Control Architectures
for Incremental Robustness", 10/01/2011-09/30/2012,  2011, "World Congress of the International Federation of Automatic Control".

C. Perkins, L. Lei, M. Kuhlman, T. H. Lee, G. Gateau, S. Bergbreiter and P. Abshire. "Distance Sensing for Mini-Robots: RSSI vs. TDOA", 10/01/2011-09/30/2012,  2011, "? IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, May 15-18, 2011".


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