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Air-jet paper mover: an example of mesoscale MEMS


The motion of human scale objects requires MEMS-like device arrays capable of providing reasonable forces over human scale distances. In principle, batch fabricated valves controlling air jets can satisfy these actuation requirements. By extending printed circuit board technology to to include electromechanical actuation, analogous to the extension of VLSI to MEMS, the requirement of low system cost can be achieved through batch fabrication and integration of the transduction elements with computational and communication elements. In this paper, we show that modulated air jets arrayed with position sensors can support and accelerate flexible media without physical contact.Precise motion control with three degrees of freedom parallel to the array, using high flow, low pressure air jet arrays is enabled using electrostatic valves. We present results of an exemplary platform based on printed circuit board technologies having an arry of 576 electrostatic flap valves. Fabrication and control of the system is described.


Biegelsen, D. K. ; Berlin, A. ; Cheung, P.; Fromherz, M. P. J. ; Goldberg, D. ; Jackson, W. ; Preas, B .; Reich, J.; Swartz, L. E. Air-jet paper mover: an example of mesoscale MEMS. SPIE Proceedings, Micromachined Devices and Components VI; 2000 September; Santa Clara, CA. Bellingham, WA: SPIE; 2000; 4176: 122-129.