Model driven design for flexure-based Microrobots

Neel Doshi, Benjamin Goldberg, Ranjana Sahai, Noah Jafferis, Daniel Aukes, Robert J. Wood, John A. Paulson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

49 Scopus citations


This paper presents a non-linear, dynamic model of the flexure-based transmission in the Harvard Ambulatory Microrobot (HAMR). The model is derived from first principles and has led to a more comprehensive understanding of the components in this transmission. In particular, an empirical model of the dynamic properties of the compliant Kapton flexures is developed and verified against theoretical results from beam and vibration theory. Furthermore, the fabrication of the piezoelectric bending actuators that drive the transmission is improved to match theoretical performance predictions. The transmission model is validated against experimental data taken on HAMR for the quasi-static (1-10 Hz) operating mode, and is used to redesign the transmission for improved performance in this regime. The model based redesign results in a 266% increase in the work done by the foot when compared to a previous version of HAMR. This leads to a payload capacity of 2.9g, which is ∼ 2× the robot's mass and a 114% increase. Finally, the model is validated in the dynamic regime (40-150 Hz) and the merits of a second order linear approximation are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIROS Hamburg 2015 - Conference Digest
Subtitle of host publicationIEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781479999941
StatePublished - Dec 11 2015
Externally publishedYes
EventIEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 2015 - Hamburg, Germany
Duration: Sep 28 2015Oct 2 2015

Publication series

NameIEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems
ISSN (Print)2153-0858
ISSN (Electronic)2153-0866


OtherIEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 2015


  • Biologically Inspired Robots
  • Compliant Flexures
  • Dynamic models
  • Legged microrobots
  • Piezoeletric actuators

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Software
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Science Applications


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