Micromechatronic Systems Laboratory (MSL)

Our research is focused on developing microscale mechatronic systems with applications in microrobotics, microfluidics (through the Air-Microfluidics Group), distributed wireless sensing, energy systems sensing, and energy harvesting. We use a variety of techniques, including 3D-printing, microfabrication and MEMS (micro electro mechanical systems), and VLSI CMOS fabrication. The wide variety of fabrication techniques and methods allows us complete multi-disciplinary projects across all size-scales.

Stress-engineered MEMS Microrobots (MicroStressBots)

Miniature robotic systems have tremendous applications in areas such as biomedicine, surveillance, self-healing and self-organising structures, or microassembly. In this work we focus on the development (design and fabrication) as well as the simultaneous control of many microscale mobile robots. Our MicroStressBots are approximately 240 µm x 60 µm x 10 µm in size (i.e. they would comfortably rest on a slice of a human hair), and are one of the smallest mobile robots in the world.

Researchers: Vahid Foroutan, Ratul Majumdar, Omid Mahdavipour

Novel Techniques in MEMS Fabrication

We investigate novel microfabrication techniques that allow us to create increasingly complex microstructures. These techniques complement standard MEMS fabrication methods, and include stress-engineering MEMS, two-photon stereolithography, multi-wafer bonding, and printed microscale epoxy bonding. In addition, our we research ways of manipulating, aligning, and docking of microscale structures.

Researchers: Ratul Majumdar, Omid Mahdavipour

Distributed Low-Power Wireless Sensing Networks

We are researching low-power wireless sensor networks, specifically focusing on energy systems sensing and biomedical applications. We are fabricating systems where each node of the network consumes so little power that it can potentially harvest enough energy for its operation from the surrounding environment. We are interested in solving challenges associated with reliable operation and co-location of such a low-power wireless network.

Researchers: Nick Iliev, Varsha Sudula, Santosh Ravi

Additional projects are described under the Air-Microfluidics Group.

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