2010 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
Anchorage, Alaska, May 3-8, 2010

"Signals Measurement and Estimation Techniques Issues in the Micro/Nano-World"


- Gloria J. Wiens

SAMM Laboratory,
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering,
University of Florida, 231 MAE-A, P.O. Box 116250,
Gainesville, FL 32611-6250.


A mechanism approach for enhancing the dynamic range and linearity of MEMS Optical Force Sensing


Optical based force sensors can provide the desired resolution and maintain relatively large sensing ranges for cell manipulation and microneedle injections via a force sensing method that uncouples the conflicting design parameters such as sensitivity and linearity. This talk presents a mechanism approach for enhancing the performance of a surface micromachined optical force sensor. A new design is presented which introduces a special mechanism, known as the Robertís mechanism, as an alternate means in which the device is structurally supported. The new designís implementation is achievable using an equivalent compliant mechanism. Initially, an analytical set of pseudo-rigid-body-model equations were developed to model the compliant design. A more accurate model was then constructed using FEA methods. The geometric parameters of the compliant Robertís mechanism were then optimized to obtain a sensor with improved linearity and sensitivity. Overall, the force sensor provides higher sensitivity, larger dynamic range and higher linearity compared to a similar optical force sensor that uses a simple structural supporting scheme. In summary, this presentation demonstrates the effectiveness of using a mechanism approach for enhancing the performance of MEMS sensors. The expected impact is to improve biomedical experiments and help further advance research that can improve quality of life.

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Bio of the speaker

Gloria J. Wiens is an associate professor in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Florida, Gainesville, FL with a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from The University of Michigan. Her research interests include: robotics, spatial mechanisms, system dynamics and controls with applications in space, automation, MEMS/micromanipulation and micro/mesoscale manufacturing. She is the founder and director of the Space, Automation and Manufacturing Mechanisms Laboratory where current research emphasis is in the areas of space robotics, small satellite deployable mechanisms, sensor-enabled dynamic (active) micro/mesoscale manipulation/fixturing and biomedical devices. Professor Wiens is founding member of ASME Design Divisionís Micro/Nano-Scale Systems (MNS) Committee (2005-present) and is currently the Vice-Chair/Treasurer.

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