Journal article

Evaluation of building technology for mass producible millimetre-sized robots using flexible printed circuit boards

Initial tests of a building technology for a compact three-dimensional mass producible microrobot are presented. The 3.9 × 3.9 × 3.3 mm3 sized prototype robot represents a microsystem with actuators, sensors, energy management and integrated electronics. The weight of a folded robot is 65 mg and the total volume is less than 23 mm3. The design of the interfaces of the different modules in the robot, as well as the building technology, is described. The modules are assembled using conductive adhesive with industrial surface mounting technology on a thin double-sided flexible printed circuit board. The final shape of the microrobots is achieved by folding the flexible printed circuit board twice. Electrical and mechanical studies are performed to evaluate the assembly and it is concluded that the technology can be used for this type of microsystem. Several issues using the presented assembly technique are identified and addressed.


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