Credits: 3

Semesters Offered

Fall 2022

Learning Objectives

  • Develop the ability to evaluate the relative importance of different forces, mechanical, and electrical properties across different size scales  Develop the ability to solve fundamental problems relating to microrobotics actuation, sensing, power, communication, and locomotion
  • Expand your ability to apply mathematics, physics, and basic engineering to problems relating to microrobotic systems
  • Learn how to conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data obtained by performing an in-lab homework assignment with micromechanisms and microactuators
  • Learn how to read research papers through a short response to weekly assigned research papers and use the knowledge gained in this course on manufacturing to design a system or component relevant to micro/nano robotics
  • Enhance your ability to learn new material on your own through the research required for the semester project.  Enhance your ability to communicate your knowledge through a presentation and written paper on your semester project


Topics Covered

  • Week 1: Physics of scaling 
  • Week 2: MEMS/NEMS fabrication for robotics 
  • Week 3: SCM and alternative fabrication methods 
  • Week 4: Assembly and review of mechanisms and flexures 
  • Week 5: Actuation – electrostatic and thermal 
  • Week 6: Actuation – piezoelectric and magnetic 
  • Week 7: Case study – microrobots for manufacturing 
  • Week 8: Sensing – strain, microscopy, noise 
  • Week 9: Case study – bio-inspired sensors 
  • Week 10: Software tools and power – batteries and solar 
  • Week 11: Power – energy harvesting and external fields 
  • Week 12: Locomotion on land and in fluids 
  • Week 13: Communications and swarms 
  • Week 14: Case study – mobile microrobots


Learning Outcomes

  • an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
  • an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data
  • an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability
  • an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
  • an ability to communicate effectively
  • a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning
  • a knowledge of contemporary issues
  • an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice
  • an ability to work professionally in both thermal and mechanical systems areas

Additional Course Information


None required.


ENME 351


This course will cover design, modeling, fabrication, and analysis of robots operating on the “micro” and “nano” scale.  Micro/nano robots are defined in a variety of different ways but in general a microrobot will have features on the micron scale or make use of micro-scale physics for manipulation or mobility.  Topics covered will include the physics of scaling, fabrication, actuation and sensing, and case studies of micro/nano robots.

Class/Laboratory Schedule 

  • Two 75 minute lectures per week
Last Updated By 
Sarah Bergbreiter, June 2017