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Sensors (Basel). 2013 May 7;13(5):5826-40. doi: 10.3390/s130505826.

Development of a micro-gripper using piezoelectric bimorphs.

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  • 1Department of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur 50603, Malaysia. amr.ahmed2@eng.au.edu.eg

Abstract

Piezoelectric bimorphs have been used as a micro-gripper in many applications, but the system might be complex and the response performance might not have been fully characterized. In this study the dynamic characteristics of bending piezoelectric bimorphs actuators were theoretically and experimentally investigated for micro-gripping applications in terms of deflection along the length, transient response, and frequency response with varying driving voltages and driving signals. In addition, the implementation of a parallel micro-gripper using bending piezoelectric bimorphs was presented. Both fingers were actuated separately to perform mini object handling. The bending piezoelectric bimorphs were fixed as cantilevers and individually driven using a high voltage amplifier and the bimorph deflection was measured using a non contact proximity sensor attached at the tip of one finger. The micro-gripper could perform precise micro-manipulation tasks and could handle objects down to 50 µm in size. This eliminates the need for external actuator extension of the microgripper as the grasping action was achieved directly with the piezoelectric bimorph, thus minimizing the weight and the complexity of the micro-gripper.

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