Microscopic origami crane waved wings

American engineers have created a miniature robot-crane based on the
their technology microalgae with electrothermal actuators. Built using this technology system show high speed of work, depend weakly on the external
temperature conditions and programmable transformirovalsya, bending of flat
sheets into complex three-dimensional designs, said in an article published in the journal Advanced Functional Materials.

The Japanese art of folding figures out of paper
often finds an application in the development of devices with a controlled shape. For example,
this technique engineers plan to use to create a deployable space
devices and highly mobile robotsthat are able to adapt to the environment
by changing its shape.

The technique of origami are also trying to use microelectromechanical
systems built using microtechnology. However, existing
today, the prototypes of such devices have a number
disadvantages: they have a low rate of flexion and extension, few degrees of freedom,
and the work of the actuators strongly depends on environmental conditions, including temperature. In addition, they usually don’t combine at the same time elastic and plastic properties, which limits the functionality and the ability to programmable transformations.

American engineers under the direction of Professor Eugene
Filipova (Evgueni
T.
Filipov)
from the University of Michigan have developed technology to create microscopic origami designs that
not subject to the above disadvantages. For this they used methods of microtechnology and electrothermal actuators.

Origami developed devices about the size of
one millimeter is composed of several layers. The Assembly process is
of several stages. First, a thin (0.8 micrometer) film of photoresist SU-8 — material based on epoxy
resin — is applied to the silicon substrate by the method of centrifugation. Then top
using the method of electron beam evaporation of a thin (0.2 micrometer)
the gold layer with an intermediate layer of chromium, which helps to seal the gold
the underlying layer which is then etched to create the desired
of the circuit pattern. This layer will perform the function of the electric heater.
Then on top apply another thicker (20 micrometers) layer of material
SU-8,
which forms the panel of the origami mechanism. Finally difluoride etching
xenon system is released from the silicon substrate.

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