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New Micro-Robotic Systems featuring Piezoelectric Adaptive MicroStructures for Sensing and Actuating, with Associated Embedded Control (MicroPAdS)
Start date: Jul 2, 2008, End date: Jul 1, 2010 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Adaptronics is a state of the art interdisciplinary area of research. It unites broad principles of structural mechanics, advanced material science (notably piezoelectric), actuation and sensing elements and embedded control technology. Adaptive systems are autonomous self-regulating mechanisms, able to adapt themselves over variations of environmental conditions. Innovative adaptronic systems intend to extend the framework of the possibilities with the development of new products within almost all ranges of the industry. The project focuses on one of the most promising applications of piezoelectric adaptive systems: microrobotics and micro-assembling systems for micrometric components. These systems require a very strict performance such as nanometer resolutions, millisecond response time etc. and the use of precise sensors is indispensable. But, until now, there does not exist a “perfect” sensor neither in industry nor in research, with convenient sizes, precision and dynamics for microrobotic applications. It appears very interesting and innovative to develop centi/millimeter active structures integrating on the same piezoelectric material both the actuating and the sensing functions with embedded control. Such smart systems could be designated as cost-effective, compact and multi-functional, since they handle carrying, sensory and actuating tasks at the same time. The subject of the proposed research is multi-disciplinary and seeks a series of specific approaches for improving the overall microrobotic performance. As described in the proposal, it touches several areas: mathematical modeling, multiphysics design, microtechnology, theory of automatic control and software development, according to host institution expertise and researcher career.
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