Asee peer logo

Electrostatic Force-Driven Millimeter-Class Mechanisms for Micro-Assembly Work

Download Paper |


2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

Innovations in Advanced Fabrication Technologies

Tagged Division


Tagged Topic


Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Allen Duong


Akihiko Kumagai California State University - Sacramento

visit author page

Akihiko Kumagai is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at California State University, Sacramento. His research interests include manufacturing, robotics, mechatronics, and controls. He obtained his B.S. and M.S. in from the University of Florida, and Ph.D. from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee all in Mechanical Engineering. He worked for Motorola Inc. and United Technologies Automotive as a manufacturing engineer for the automation area. He also worked at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in the summers of 2006 and 2007. He is a member of American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), and Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME).

visit author page


Adewale George Ogbogho SMAL

visit author page

Adewale Ogbogho is a former graduate student in the Master’s Program in Mechanical Engineering at California State University, Sacramento. He currently works as a Manufacturing Engineer with JBT Food Tech in Madera, CA

visit author page

author page

John Tien

Download Paper |


This paper describes activities of a group of students developing insect-size mechanisms at Small Mechanism Applications Laboratory (SMAL) at our educational institution. Our group focuses on a class of millimeter-size mechanisms larger than micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) but much smaller than ordinary mechanisms seen in our daily life. Seeing the technological trend of electro-mechanical products getting more and more minitualized, we believe this class size of mechanisms has a wide range of future applications in manufacturing, bioengineering, the military, and many other areas. One of the difficult challenges to building this class size of mechanism is a lack of actuator technologies for miniaturization. Today's commonly used actuators for industrial automation, such as electric motors, hydraulic actuators, and pneumatic actuators, are not suited for miniaturization. At SMAL, students have been experimenting with the use of untraditional actuating sources to design miniature mechanisms. Those untraditional actuating sources include but are not limited to electrostatic force, Shape Memory Alloy (SMA), and thermal expansion/contraction. These actuating sources have potentials for simplifying mechanisms, minimizing a number of assembly components, and reducing component weights. Therefore, they are more suited for miniaturization compared to traditional actuating sources. Case studies of developing electrostatic force-driven miniature grippers and suction devices intended for micro-assembly work are described. Brief descriptions of other ongoing work are also presented.

Duong, A., & Kumagai, A., & Ogbogho, A. G., & Tien, J. (2016, June), Electrostatic Force-Driven Millimeter-Class Mechanisms for Micro-Assembly Work Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26921

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2016 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015