Microsystem Mechanics  

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  • To perform enabling research and technology transition to enhance tactical situational awareness in urban and complex terrain by enabling the autonomous operation of a collaborative ensemble of multifunctional, mobile microsystems.

To achieve this objective, the Alliance will advance fundamental science and technology in several key areas including:

  • Microsystem Mechanics
  • Processing for Autonomous Operation
  • Microelectronics, and
  • Platform Integration.


The vision of the Center is to pursue primarily bio-inspired microsystems, as well as selectively advance a few non-bio-inspired systems, and thereby develop radical design and engineering methodologies in which system-level performance, maneuvering and functional adaptability is emphasized over optimization of individual functions.

Our unique teaming relationship between biologists and engineers brings together experts in the areas of aeromechanics, ambulation, and actuators and propulsion of small-unmanned aerial and ground vehicles to address fundamental mechanics issues towards the development of the next generation of highly maneuverable microsystems to successfully operate in both confined environments (such as building interiors, caves, and tunnels) and unconfined environments (such as battle zone perimeter defense), encompassing rough terrain and gusty wind conditions.

Four exciting multidisciplinary mechanics themes that could potentially represent breakthrough methodologies and technologies for microsystem applications will be pursued, and these are

  1. aeromechanics
  2. ambulation
  3. hybrid aeromechanics/ambulation, and
  4. multifunctional, actuation and propulsion.


The goal of this Center is to develop fundamental mechanics tools for innovative microsystems, which could result in a 'quantum jump' in performance, maneuverability, and functional adaptability from current levels.

Participating Faculty

At the University of Maryland, 10 faculty members and 3 senior scientists in the A. James Clark School of Engineering will participate in this research activity.

Fifteen graduate students will be supported from this program.

Dr. Darryll Pines, Chair of Aerospace Engineering has played a vital role in the preparation of this proposal.

In addition, AE staff members, Mr. Otto Fandino and
Mr. Elton Howard were critical in aiding the team pull together the cost proposal.



Additional Resources

About the Center

Participating Universities

Contact Info


Maps of campus


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