A piece of paper has many useful characteristics; it is affordable, lightweight, thin, strong, and highly absorbent. These features allow inexpensive and flexible devices to be fabricated easily and rapidly. We have proposed a new field, "paper mechatronics," which merges printed robotics and paper electronics, and to realize electronic and mechanical systems by printing. Herein, we develop a method to print an actuator and a structure on a sheet of paper. A trilayer electrothermal actuator is printed to activate a printed robot. The paper self-folds along the printed pattern to form the three-dimensional (3-D) structure of the robot body. We also investigate important factors necessary to develop a printed robot. Experiments, including finite element analysis (FEA), confirm our bimetal modeling assumption for the printed actuator and improve the locomotive ability. The key factors in self-folding are paper thickness and humidity. Our findings can improve the reliability of printed robot designs. A self-folding A7-sized paper robot demonstrates locomotion at 10 mm per step.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Control and Systems Engineering
- Computer Science Applications
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering