RAR Archive - 419.09 kB - 07/31/2018 at 23:53
Just received the new flexible PCB actuators! I'll be selling some of these on Tindie! I'll just have to find some time to set up my store! So far I have only selected the name Microbots
This week I came up with this simple tiny robot prototype which is made from a piece of paper and my magnetic pcb actuator! Check out the video bellow :)
Someone on twitter suggested to draw on it. So I did and it ended up looking like a tiny minion.
Designed a new single coil Flex PCB Actuator! I'm planning to use this as a tiny flap/fin. It the same number of turns as my previous 12 coil pcb.
This video shows the different type of soft actuator prototypes I have managed to build with my flexible PCB. These include flaps, fins and a very weak robotic muscle with a magnetic bone structure.
It also shows a glimpse of a robotic fish prototype that I'm started working on.
Before I can start building robots with this thing, I need to measure its characteristics and test its limitations.
In this video, I have tested my Flexible PCB actuator and also compared it to my Linear PCB Motor which has the same dimensions but different layer count. The measured data is shown bellow:
|4-Layer Linear PCB Motor||2-Layer Flex PCB Actuator|
|Maximum Temperature @ 5V||51°C||76°C|
The flex PCB has half the turns, so its resistance is lower. This means that more current can pass through it, so obviously it gets a little hotter. This means that this flexible pcb actuator can be used with lower voltages. The thin dielectric of this pcb also improves the coupling of the magnetic field.
I was also able to reach a maximum operating frequency of 65Hz.
Today I have submitted the Flexible PCB Actuator for the www.pcbway.com PCB-Design Contest!
You can now also buy or download the free open source gerber files from the link bellow!
Ok so lets be honest. I did not expected this thing to work. I was afraid that its resistance is going to be too small that it will over heat. But it actually didn't.
The pcb is dual layer and is 0.13mm thick. Although it only has 70 turns, the thin dielectric will improve the coupling. The flex PCB is made from a polyimide material which is highly resistant to heat, which makes the surface barely hot.
In the video I am driving with a 5V voltage supply and it is drawing around 600mA.
This project was inspired from my Linear PCB Motor (https://hackaday.io/project/158017-linear-pcb-motor) which is the same size board but stacked in 4-layers. In this project I have manged to have a fixed stator and move a magnet on top of it. With the flex-PCB I want to do the opposite, and have the printed board attracted to the magnet.