Piezoelectric Micromotors for Microrobots
By combining new robot control systems with piezoelectric motors and micromechanics, we propose creating micromechanical systems which are small, cheap and completely autonomous. We have fabricated small - a few millimeters in diameter - piezoelectric motors using ferroelectric thin films and consisting of two pieces: a stator and a rotor. The stationary stator includes a piezoelectric film in which we induce bending in the form of a traveling wave. Anything which sits atop the stator is propelled by the wave. A small glass lens placed upon the stator becomes the spinning rotor. Using thin films of PZT on silicon nitride memebranes, various types of actuator structures have been fabricated.