MechE PhD Students Place at International Micro-robotics Competition-Mechanical Engineering - Carnegie Mellon University

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

MechE PhD Students Place at International Micro-robotics Competition

2012 Microrobot in the Mobility Challenge
2012 Microrobot in the Mobility Challenge

The Mechanical Engineering Department congratulates Eric Diller and Joshua Giltinan, two PhD students under Professor Metin Sitti, won first and second place at the 2012 NIST Mobile Microrobotics Challenge last week.  They are members of the NanoRobotics Lab.

The team competed with 8 other teams from around the world at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) in St. Paul, Minnesota. The microrobots, made possible by advances in microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), are no bigger than 600 micrometers and operate without the direct connection of wires.  The MechE team's robot measured 400 micrometers - slightly smaller than the period at the end of this sentence - and was controlled by a series of eight computer-controlled magnetic coils.

The team took second place in the Mobility Challenge, successfully navigating a maze in the shape of a figure eight in 0.53 seconds.  In the Microassembly Challenge, the team placed first as they packed five microscale components inside a narrow channel.

These microrobots are expected to have applications in intelligent sensor networks, in vivo medical diagnosis and treatment, and adaptive microelectronics.