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Multiscale Surgical Telerobots

Description: A project was undertaken to improve robotic surgical tools for telerobotic minimally invasive surgery. The major objectives were to reduce the size of the tools to permit new surgical procedures in confined spaces such as the heart and to improve control of surgical tools by locating positional sensors and actuators at the end effector rather than external to the patient as is currently the state of the technology. A new compact end-effector with wrist-like flexibility was designed. Positional sensors based on MEMS microfabrication techniques were designed.
Date: January 23, 2002
Creator: Miles, R R; Seward, K P; Benett, W J; Tendick, F; Bentley, L & Stephan, P L
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Micromirror Arrays for Adaptive Optics

Description: The long-range goal of this project is to develop the optical and mechanical design of a micromirror array for adaptive optics that will meet the following criteria: flat mirror surface ({lambda}/20), high fill factor (> 95%), large stroke (5-10 {micro}m), and pixel size {approx}-200 {micro}m. This will be accomplished by optimizing the mirror surface and actuators independently and then combining them using bonding technologies that are currently being developed.
Date: August 7, 2000
Creator: Carr, E.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Thin Silicon MEMS Contact-Stress Sensor

Description: This thin, MEMS contact-stress sensor continuously and accurately measures time-varying, solid interface loads over tens of thousands of load cycles. The contact-stress sensor is extremely thin (150 {mu}m) and has a linear output with an accuracy of {+-} 1.5% FSO.
Date: May 28, 2010
Creator: Kotovksy, J; Tooker, A & Horsley, D
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Exchange-Coupling in Magnetic Nanoparticles to Enhance Magnetostrictive Properties

Description: Spark erosion is a versatile and economical method for producing particles of virtually any type of material that has a nominal conductivity: particles can be prepared in sizes ranging from a few nm to tens of {micro}m. The purpose of this feasibility study was to demonstrate the capability of making spherical particles of specific magnetic materials. We chose (Tb Dy)Fe{sub 2} (Terfenol-D) due to its potential use as the magnetostrictive component in magneto-elastomer composites. We also chose to work with pure Ni as a model system. Improvements in the properties of magneto-elastomer composites have broad applications in the areas of sensor development, enhanced actuators and damping systems.
Date: January 31, 2002
Creator: Radousky, H; McElfresh, M; Berkowitz, A & Carman, G P
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Digial Technology Qualification Task 2 - Suitability of Digital Alternatives to Analog Sensors and Actuators

Description: The next generation reactors in the U.S. are an opportunity for vendors to build new reactor technology with advanced Instrumentation and Control Systems (control rooms, DCS, etc.). The advances made in the development of many current generation operating reactors in other parts of the world are being used in the design and construction of new plants. These new plants are expected to have fully integrated digital control rooms, computerized procedures, integrated surveillance testing with on-line monitoring and a major effort toward improving the O&M and fault survivability of the overall systems. In addition the designs are also incorporating major improvements in the man-machine interface based on lessons learned in nuclear and other industries. The above relates primarily to the scope of supply in instrumentation and control systems addressed by Chapter 7 of the Standard Review Plan (SRP) NUREG-0800 (Reference 9.5), and the associated Balance of Plant (BOP) I&C systems. This does not relate directly to the actuator and motor, breaker, initiation circuitry, valve position, etc. which is the subject of this report and normally outside of the traditional Distributed Control System (DCS), for both safety and non-safety systems. The recommendations presented in this report will be used as input to I&C research programming for the implementation of lessons learned during the early phases of new build both for large light water reactors (LWR) and also small modular reactors (SMR). This report is intended to support current research plans and provide user (vendor, owner-operator) input to the optimization of these research plans.
Date: September 1, 2012
Creator: Quinn, Ted & Mauck, Jerry
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Considerations For Contractile Electroactive Materials and Actuators

Description: Electroactive polymers (EAPs) that bend, swell, ripple (first generation materials), and now contract with low electric input (new development) have been produced. The mechanism of contraction is not well understood. Radionuclide-labeled experiments, molecular modeling, electrolyte experiments, pH experiments, and an ionic concentration experiment were used to determine the chain of events that occur during contraction and, reciprocally, expansion when the polarity is reversed, in these ionic EAPs. Plasma treatment of the electrodes, along with other strategies, allows for the embedded electrodes and the EAP material of the actuator to work and move as a unit, with no detachment, by significantly improving the metal-polymer interface, analogous to nerves and tendons moving with muscles during movement. Challenges involved with prototyping actuation using contractile EAPs are also discussed.
Date: February 29, 2012
Creator: Lenore Rasmussen, Lewis D. Meixler and Charles A. Gentile
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Optimal dynamic performance for high-precision actuators/stages.

Description: System dynamic performance of actuator/stage groups, such as those found in optical instrument positioning systems and other high-precision applications, is dependent upon both individual component behavior and the system configuration. Experimental modal analysis techniques were implemented to determine the six degree of freedom stiffnesses and damping for individual actuator components. These experimental data were then used in a multibody dynamic computer model to investigate the effect of stage group configuration. Running the computer model through the possible stage configurations and observing the predicted vibratory response determined the optimal stage group configuration. Configuration optimization can be performed for any group of stages, provided there is stiffness and damping data available for the constituent pieces.
Date: July 3, 2002
Creator: Preissner, C.; Lee, S.-H.; Royston, T. J. & Shu, D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Intricate Mechanisms-on-a Chip Enabled by 5-Level Surface Micromachining

Description: Surface micromachining generally offers more design freedom than related technologies, and it is the technology of choice for most microelectromechanical applications that require multi-level structures. However, the design flexibility that surface micromachining offers is not without limitations. In addition to determining how to fabricate devices in a planar world, the designer also needs to consider issues such as film quality, thickness, residual stress, topography propagation, stringers, processing limitations, and concerns about surface adhesion [1]. Only a few years ago, these were the types of issues that limited design complexity. As the technology improved, the number of mechanical layers available to the designer became the dominant constraint on system functionality. In response, we developed a 5-level polysilicon fabrication technology [2] that offers an unprecedented level of microelectromechanical complexity with simultaneous increases in system yield and robustness. This paper outlines the application that was the driving force behind this work and describes the first devices specifically designed for and fabricated in this technology. The 5-level fabrication technology developed to support this program is known as SUMMiT-V. Four mechanical layers of polysilicon referred to as polyl, poly2, poly3, and poly4 are fabricated above a polyO electrical interconnect and ground plane layer [2,4]. PolyO is 0.3 pm thick, polyl is 1.0 pm, poly 2 is 1.5 pm, and both poly3 and poly4 are 2.25 pm. All films except polyl and poly2 are separated by 2-pm thick depositions of sacrificial oxide. A 0.5-m sacrificial oxide between polyl and poly2 typically defines the clearance between close mating parts such as hubs and hinges. This entire stack is built on a single crystal substrate with a dielectric foundation of 0.8 pm of nitride over 0.63 m of oxide. Seventeen drawing layer are combined to generate the 14 photolithographic masks used to pattern these films during a 240-step ...
Date: March 30, 1999
Creator: Allen, J.J.; McWhorter, P.J.; Miller, S.L.; Rodgers, M.S.; Smith, J.H. & Sniegowski, J.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Scaling Laws for Mesoscale and Microscale Systems

Description: The set of laws developed and presented here is by no means exhaustive. Techniques have been present to aid in the development of additional scaling laws and to combine these and other laws to produce additional useful relationships. Some of the relationships produced here have yielded perhaps surprising results. Examples include the fifth order scaling law for electromagnetic motor torque and the zero order scaling law for capacitive motor power. These laws demonstrate important facts about actuators in small-scale systems. The primary intent of this introduction into scaling law analysis is to provide needed tools to examine possible areas of the research in small-scale systems and direct research toward more fruitful areas. Numerous examples have been included to show the validity of developing scaling laws based on first principles and how real world systems tend to obey these laws even when many other variables may potentially come into play. Development of further laws may well serve to provide important high-level direction to the continued development of small-scale systems.
Date: August 23, 1999
Creator: Spletzer, Barry
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Minimum-Time Trajectory Tracking of an Under-Actuated System

Description: Minimum-time trajectory tracking of an under-actuated mechanical system called the Acrobot is presented. The success of the controller is demonstrated by the fact that the tracking error is reduced by more than an order of magnitude when compared to the open-loop system response. The control law is obtained by linearizing the system about the nominal trajectory and applying differential dynamic programming to the resulting linear time-varying system, while using a weighted sum of the state-deviation and input-deviation as the cost function.
Date: October 26, 1999
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Electromagnetic rotational actuation.

Description: There are many applications that need a meso-scale rotational actuator. These applications have been left by the wayside because of the lack of actuation at this scale. Sandia National Laboratories has many unique fabrication technologies that could be used to create an electromagnetic actuator at this scale. There are also many designs to be explored. In this internship exploration of the designs and fabrications technologies to find an inexpensive design that can be used for prototyping the electromagnetic rotational actuator.
Date: August 1, 2010
Creator: Hogan, Alexander Lee
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Sensor and actuator considerations for precision, small machines: a review

Description: This article reviews some design considerations for the scaling down in size of instruments and machines with a primary aim to identify technologies that may provide more optimal performance solutions than those, often established, technologies used at macroscopic, or conventional, scales. Dimensional metrology within emerging applications will be considered for meso- through micro-down to nanometer level systems with particular emphasis on systems for which precision is directly related to function. In this paper, attention is limited to some of the more fundamental issues associated with scaling. For example, actuator work or power densities or the effect of noise on the sensor signals can be readily evaluated and provide some guidance in the selection for any given size of device. However, with reductions in scale these parameters and/or phenomena that limit performance may change. Within this review, the authors have tried to assess these complex inter-relationships between performance and scale, again from a fundamental perspective. In practice, it is likely that the nuances of implementation and integration of sensor, actuator and/or mechanism designs will determine functionality and commercial viability of any particular system development.
Date: April 4, 2005
Creator: Smith, S T & Seugling, R M
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department


Description: A history and project summary of the development of an integrated drilling system using a mud-actuated down-hole hammer as its primary engine are given. The summary includes laboratory test results, including atmospheric tests of component parts and simulated borehole tests of the hammer system. Several remaining technical hurdles are enumerated. A brief explanation of commercialization potential is included. The primary conclusion for this work is that a mud actuated hammer can yield substantial improvements to drilling rate in overbalanced, hard rock formations. A secondary conclusion is that the down-hole mud actuated hammer can serve to provide other useful down-hole functions including generation of high pressure mud jets, generation of seismic and sonic signals, and generation of diagnostic information based on hammer velocity profiles.
Date: December 1, 2005
Creator: Fernandez, John V. & Pixton, David S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Bi-Stable Optical Actuator

Description: The present invention is a bi-stable optical actuator device that is depowered in both stable positions. A bearing is used to transfer motion and smoothly transition from one state to another. The optical actuator device may be maintained in a stable position either by gravity or a restraining device.
Date: October 15, 1999
Creator: Holdener, Fred R. & Boyd, Robert D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Fabrications of PVDF gratings :final report for LDRD project 79884.

Description: The purpose of this project was to do some preliminary studies and process development on electroactive polymers to be used for tunable optical elements and MEMS actuators. Working in collaboration between Sandia National Labs and The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, we have successfully developed a process for applying thin films of poly (vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) onto glass substrates and patterning these using a novel stamping technique. We observed actuation in these structures in static and dynamic measurements. Further work is needed to characterize the impact that this approach could have on the field of tunable optical devices for sensing and communication.
Date: December 1, 2005
Creator: Rogers, J. A. (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign); Carr, Dustin Wade & Bogart, Gregory R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Final report : compliant thermo-mechanical MEMS actuators, LDRD #52553.

Description: Thermal actuators have proven to be a robust actuation method in surface-micromachined MEMS processes. Their higher output force and lower input voltage make them an attractive alternative to more traditional electrostatic actuation methods. A predictive model of thermal actuator behavior has been developed and validated that can be used as a design tool to customize the performance of an actuator to a specific application. This tool has also been used to better understand thermal actuator reliability by comparing the maximum actuator temperature to the measured lifetime. Modeling thermal actuator behavior requires the use of two sequentially coupled models, the first to predict the temperature increase of the actuator due to the applied current and the second to model the mechanical response of the structure due to the increase in temperature. These two models have been developed using Matlab for the thermal response and ANSYS for the structural response. Both models have been shown to agree well with experimental data. In a parallel effort, the reliability and failure mechanisms of thermal actuators have been studied. Their response to electrical overstress and electrostatic discharge has been measured and a study has been performed to determine actuator lifetime at various temperatures and operating conditions. The results from this study have been used to determine a maximum reliable operating temperature that, when used in conjunction with the predictive model, enables us to design in reliability and customize the performance of an actuator at the design stage.
Date: December 1, 2004
Creator: Walraven, Jeremy Allen; Baker, Michael Sean; Headley, Thomas Jeffrey & Plass, Richard Anton
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Self-Reconfigurable Robots

Description: A distributed reconfigurable micro-robotic system is a collection of unlimited numbers of distributed small, homogeneous robots designed to autonomously organize and reorganize in order to achieve mission-specified geometric shapes and functions. This project investigated the design, control, and planning issues for self-configuring and self-organizing robots. In the 2D space a system consisting of two robots was prototyped and successfully displayed automatic docking/undocking to operate dependently or independently. Additional modules were constructed to display the usefulness of a self-configuring system in various situations. In 3D a self-reconfiguring robot system of 4 identical modules was built. Each module connects to its neighbors using rotating actuators. An individual component can move in three dimensions on its neighbors. We have also built a self-reconfiguring robot system consisting of 9-module Crystalline Robot. Each module in this robot is actuated by expansion/contraction. The system is fully distributed, has local communication (to neighbors) capabilities and it has global sensing capabilities.
Date: October 1, 2002
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department


Description: ARM Automation, Inc. is developing a framework of modular actuators that can address the DOE's wide range of robotics needs. The objective of this effort is to demonstrate the effectiveness of this technology by constructing a manipulator from these actuators within a glovebox for Automated Plutonium Processing (APP). At the end of the project, the system of actuators was used to construct several different manipulator configurations, which accommodate common glovebox tasks such as repackaging. The modular nature and quickconnects of this system simplify installation into ''hot'' boxes and any potential modifications or repair therein. This work focused on the development of self-contained robotic actuator modules including the embedded electronic controls for the purpose of building a manipulator system. Both of the actuators developed under this project contain the control electronics, sensors, motor, gear train, wiring, system communications and mechanical interfaces of a complete robotics servo device. Test actuators and accompanying DISC{trademark}s underwent validation testing at The University of Texas at Austin and ARM Automation, Inc. following final design and fabrication. The system also included custom links, an umbilical cord, an open architecture PC-based system controller, and operational software that permitted integration into a completely functional robotic manipulator system. The open architecture on which this system is based avoids proprietary interfaces and communication protocols which only serve to limit the capabilities and flexibility of automation equipment. The system was integrated and tested in the contractor's facility for intended performance and operations. The manipulator was tested using the full-scale equipment and process mock-ups. The project produced a practical and operational system including a quantitative evaluation of its performance and cost.
Date: July 31, 2001
Creator: Joseph W. Geisinger, Ph.D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Deep x-ray lithography based processing for micromechanics

Description: Deep x-ray lithography based fabrication provides a means to fabricate microactuators with useful output forces. High energy x-ray exposure provides a tool for fabrication of the next generation of precision engineered components. Device characterization, materials science, an metrology continue to pose challenges at this scale.
Date: October 1995
Creator: Christenson, T. R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department