Facebook Patent | Microfluidic devices and fluidic logic devices

Patent: Microfluidic devices and fluidic logic devices

Drawings: Click to check drawins

Publication Number: 20210354137

Publication Date: 20211118

Applicant: Facebook

Abstract

Microfluidic devices may include a first inlet port for conveying a first fluid exhibiting a first pressure into the fluidic device, a second inlet port for conveying a second fluid exhibiting a second pressure into the fluidic device, an output port for conveying one of the first fluid or the second fluid out of the fluidic device, and a piston that is movable between a first position that inhibits fluid flow from the second inlet port to the output port and a second position that inhibits fluid flow from the first inlet port to the output port. Movement of the piston between the first and second positions may be determined by control pressure applied against a control gate of the piston. A flange of the piston may have an outer diameter of about 10 mm or less. Various other related methods and systems are also disclosed.

Claims

  1. A microfluidic device comprising: a first inlet port configured to convey a first fluid exhibiting a first pressure into the fluidic device; a second inlet port configured to convey a second fluid exhibiting a second pressure into the fluidic device; an output port that is configured to convey one of the first fluid or the second fluid out of the fluidic device; and a piston that is movable between a first position that inhibits fluid flow through the second inlet port to the output port and a second position that inhibits fluid flow through the first inlet port to the output port, wherein movement of the piston between the first and second positions is determined by control pressure applied against a control gate of the piston, wherein a flange of the piston has an outer diameter of about 10 mm or less.

  2. The microfluidic device of claim 1, wherein the first fluid and the second fluid comprise at least one of a gas, air, or a liquid.

  3. The microfluidic device of claim 1, wherein the piston comprises at least one of rubber, a polymer, nitrile, or silicone.

  4. The microfluidic device of claim 1, wherein the piston is configured in at least one of: a biased down configuration; a biased up configuration; a biased center configuration; or a high gain configuration.

  5. The microfluidic device of claim 1, wherein the first inlet port, the second inlet port, and the gate provide fluidic input signals and a fluidic output signal is provided at the outlet port, and wherein the microfluidic device is configured as at least one of the following: a buffer; an inverter; an OR gate; or an AND gate.

  6. The microfluidic device of claim 1, wherein the microfluidic device comprises a plurality of microfluidic devices and the plurality of microfluidic devices are configured as at least one of: a demultiplexer; a full adder; a row-column buffered latch decoder; a row-column demultiplexer; a row-column inverted latch decoder; or a row-column inverted demultiplexer.

  7. The microfluidic device of claim 1, wherein the microfluidic device comprises a first fluidic device and a second fluidic device configured as at least one of: a NOR gate; a NAND gate; an XOR gate; or an XNOR gate.

  8. The microfluidic device of claim 1, wherein: the microfluidic device comprises a first fluidic device and a second fluidic device that are together configured as an XOR gate; the first fluidic device comprises: a first source port; a first drain port; a first gate port; a first output; and a first valve element for switching flow from the first source port between the first drain port and the first output; and the second fluidic device comprises: a second source port; a second drain port; a second gate port; a second output; and a second valve element for switching flow from the second source port between the second drain port and the second output; the first source port is connected to a high-pressure source; the first drain port is connected to a low-pressure source; the first output is connected to the second drain port; the first gate port is connected to the second source port; when the high-pressure source is connected to the first gate port or the second gate port, the high-pressure source is connected to the second output; and when the high-pressure source is connected to the first gate port and the second gate port or the low-pressure source is connected to the first gate port and the second gate port, the low-pressure source is connected to the second output.

  9. The microfluidic device of claim 1, wherein at least one of the first fluid or the second fluid is supplied from a peizoelectric valve.

  10. The microfluidic device of claim 9, wherein the peizoelectric valve comprises first and second peizoelectric actuators configured as cantilevered beams wherein: the first peizoelectric actuator is configured to control flow of one of the first fluid or the second fluid through a source port; the second peizoelectric actuator is configured to control flow of one of the first fluid or the second fluid through a drain port; and the first and second peizoelectric actuators are configured to be simultaneously actuated in a same direction.

  11. The microfluidic device of claim 9, wherein the peizoelectric valve is configured to: be electrically actuated; and provide an interface between an electronic control system and the microfluidic device.

  12. The microfluidic device of claim 1, wherein the microfluidic device is configured to convey at least one of the first fluid or the second fluid to a fluid chamber.

  13. The microfluidic device of claim 1, wherein: the microfluidic device comprises a first fluidic device and a second fluidic device; and the first fluidic device and the second fluidic device are configured as a push-pull fluid amplifier.

  14. The microfluidic device of claim 13, wherein: a base port of the first fluidic device is connected to a pressure source; a base port of the second fluidic device is connected to a pressure drain; an output port of the first fluidic device is connected to a fluid chamber; an output port of the second fluidic device is connected to the fluid chamber; a gate port of the first fluidic device is connected to a variable pressure input; a gate port of the second fluidic device is connected to the variable pressure input; and the fluidic device is configured to mirror the variable pressure input in the fluid chamber.

  15. The microfluidic device of claim 14, wherein a fluid flow rate in the fluid chamber is higher than a fluid flow rate in the gate port of the first fluidic device and the gate port of the second fluidic device.

  16. The microfluidic device of claim 14, wherein the variable pressure input is provided by a linearized variable pressure regulator device.

  17. The microfluidic device of claim 1, wherein: at least one of the first inlet port or the second inlet port is connected to a linearized variable pressure regulator device; the linearized variable pressure regulator device comprises a plurality of flow restrictors; each of the flow restrictors comprises a different diameter orifice; and the plurality of flow restrictors are configured to create the linearized variable pressure regulator device.

  18. The microfluidic device of claim 1, wherein: the microfluidic device is configured to control a flow of fluid to an inflatable bladder in a glove; and the bladder in the glove is configured to provide haptic feedback to a user in association with an artificial-reality application.

  19. A fluidic logic-gate device, comprising: an input port; n select ports; a drive input port; 2.sup.n output ports; 2.sup.n control gates respectively coupled to the output ports; fluid channels configured to route fluid from the input port to the control gates; and select pistons each comprising a gate element fluidically coupled to one of the select ports and configured to, when at a first pressure state, block a first one of the fluid channels and unblock a second one of the fluid channels, and, when at a second pressure state, unblock the first one of the fluid channels and block the second one of the fluid channels, wherein each combination of the first pressure state and the second pressure state on the select ports opens a unique fluid route from the input port to a selected one of the control gates to transmit a state of the drive input port to a respective output port.

  20. A binary fluidic full-adder device, comprising: a first XOR fluidic device configured to produce a logical exclusive OR of a first and second binary fluidic input at a first output; a second XOR fluidic device configured to produce a logical exclusive OR of the first output and a carry-in binary fluidic input at a second output representative of an arithmetic sum of the first, second, and carry-in binary fluidic inputs; a first AND fluidic device configured to produce a logical AND of the first output and the carry binary fluidic input at a third output; a second AND fluidic device configured to produce a logical AND of the first and second binary fluidic inputs at a fourth output; and an OR fluidic device configured to produce a logical OR of the third and fourth output at a fifth output representative of an arithmetic carry of the first, second, and carry-in binary fluidic inputs.

Description

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 63/026,675, titled “MICROFLUIDIC VALVES, LOGIC DEVICES, AND RELATED SYSTEMS AND METHODS,” filed on May 18, 2020 and U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 63/027,222, titled “MICROFLUIDIC VALVES, LOGIC DEVICES, AND RELATED SYSTEMS AND METHODS,” filed on May 19, 2020, the entire disclosure of each of which is incorporated herein by this reference.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0002] The accompanying drawings illustrate a number of example embodiments and are a part of the specification. Together with the following description, these drawings demonstrate and explain various principles of the instant disclosure.

[0003] FIG. 1 is an illustration of an example piston of a fluidic valve biased in a down position, according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0004] FIG. 2 is an illustration of an example piston of a fluidic valve biased in an up position, according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0005] FIG. 3 is an illustration of an example piston of a fluidic valve biased in a central position, according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0006] FIG. 4 is an illustration of an example piston of a fluidic valve configured with a high gain gate, according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0007] FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of an example fluidic valve, according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0008] FIG. 6A is a plan view of example pistons disposed in a fluidic valve assembly, according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0009] FIG. 6B is a semi-transparent perspective view of a fluidic valve assembly that includes multiple pistons, according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0010] FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of a piezoelectric fluidic valve, according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0011] FIGS. 8A and 8B are cross-sectional views of an example fluidic valve buffer, according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0012] FIGS. 9A-9C are cross-sectional views of an example fluidic valve inverter and a corresponding truth table, according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0013] FIGS. 10A-10E are cross-sectional views of an example OR fluidic logic-gate device and a corresponding truth table, according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0014] FIGS. 11A-11E are cross-sectional views of an example AND fluidic logic-gate device and a corresponding truth table, according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0015] FIG. 12 is a cross-sectional view of an example NOR fluidic logic-gate device and a corresponding truth table, according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0016] FIG. 13 is a cross-sectional view of an example NAND fluidic logic-gate device and a corresponding truth table, according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0017] FIG. 14 is a cross-sectional view of an example XOR fluidic logic-gate device and a corresponding truth table, according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0018] FIG. 15 is a cross-sectional view of an example XNOR fluidic logic-gate device and a corresponding truth table, according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0019] FIG. 16 is a cross-sectional view of an example demultiplexer fluidic logic-gate device, according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0020] FIG. 17 is a logic diagram and truth table for a fluidic full adder device and a corresponding truth table, according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0021] FIG. 18 is a cross-sectional view of an example fluidic full adder device and corresponding truth table, according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0022] FIG. 19 is a cross-sectional view of an alternative configuration of a fluidic valve, according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0023] FIG. 20 is a cross-sectional view of an alternative configuration of a fluidic valve buffer in two states and corresponding truth table, according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0024] FIG. 21 is a cross-sectional view of an alternative configuration of a fluidic valve inverter in two states and corresponding truth table, according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0025] FIG. 22 is a cross-sectional view of an example fluidic row column buffered latch decode device, according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0026] FIG. 23 is a cross-sectional view of an example fluidic row column demultiplexer device, according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0027] FIG. 24 is a cross-sectional view of an example fluidic row column inverted demultiplexer device, according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0028] FIG. 25 is a cross-sectional view of an example fluidic row column demultiplexer hybrid inverted device, according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0029] FIG. 26A is a schematic illustration of a linearized variable pressure regulator device, according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure. FIGS. 26B and 26C are respectively charts of simulated and experimental data of a linearized variable pressure regulator device, according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0030] FIG. 27 illustrates variable diameter orifices of a linearized variable pressure regulator device, according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0031] FIG. 28 is a cross-sectional view of an example push-pull fluidic amplifier device, according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0032] FIG. 29 is a perspective view of a physical implementation of a fluidic full adder device, according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0033] FIG. 30 is a block diagram of a microfluidic control system, according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0034] FIG. 31 is a block diagram of a microfluidic control system, according to at least one additional embodiment of the present disclosure

[0035] FIG. 32 is an illustration of exemplary augmented-reality glasses that may be used in connection with embodiments of this disclosure.

[0036] FIG. 33 is an illustration of an exemplary virtual-reality headset that may be used in connection with embodiments of this disclosure.

[0037] FIG. 34 is an illustration of exemplary haptic devices that may be used in connection with embodiments of this disclosure.

[0038] FIG. 35 is an illustration of an exemplary virtual-reality environment according to embodiments of this disclosure.

[0039] FIG. 36 is an illustration of an exemplary augmented-reality environment according to embodiments of this disclosure.

[0040] Throughout the drawings, identical reference characters and descriptions indicate similar, but not necessarily identical, elements. While the example embodiments described herein are susceptible to various modifications and alternative forms, specific embodiments have been shown by way of example in the drawings and will be described in detail herein. However, the example embodiments described herein are not intended to be limited to the particular forms disclosed. Rather, the instant disclosure covers all modifications, equivalents, and alternatives falling within the scope of the appended claims.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EXAMPLE EMBODIMENTS

[0041] The present disclosure is generally directed to microfluidic valves, systems, and related methods. Microfluidic systems may be small mechanical systems that control the pressure and/or flow of fluids. Microfluidic systems may be used in many different fields, such as artificial reality, biomedical, chemical, genetic, biochemical, pharmaceutical, haptics, and other fields. A microfluidic valve may be a basic component of a microfluidic system and may be used for stopping, starting, or otherwise controlling pressure and/or flow of a fluid in a microfluidic system.

[0042] As will be explained in greater detail below, embodiments of the instant disclosure may include fluidic valves and systems that may be actuated via fluid pressure, with a piezoelectric material, or with other mechanisms, for example. Related methods of controlling flow of a fluid and of fabricating fluidic systems are also disclosed. The present disclosure may include haptic fluidic systems that involve the control (e.g., stopping, starting, alternating, restricting, increasing, etc.) of fluid flow through a fluid channel and/or a fluid chamber. The control of fluid flow may be accomplished with one or more fluidic valves.

[0043] Features from any of the embodiments described herein may be used in combination with one another in accordance with the general principles described herein. These and other embodiments, features, and advantages will be more fully understood upon reading the following detailed description in conjunction with the accompanying drawings and claims.

[0044] The following will provide, with reference to FIGS. 1-4, detailed descriptions of example fluidic valve pistons, fluidic systems, and fluidic valves (e.g., microfluidic systems and microfluidic valves). Detailed descriptions of fluidic valve implementations are provided with reference to FIGS. 5-7. Detailed descriptions of logic gates and fluidic logic circuits are provided with reference to FIGS. 8-25. Detailed descriptions of linearized variable pressure regulator devices are provided with reference to FIGS. 26A-26C and 27. A detailed description of a push-pull fluidic amplifier is provided with reference to FIG. 28. A detailed description of a physical implementation of a full adder is provided with reference to FIG. 29. A detailed description of a microfluidic control system is provided with reference to FIG. 30. With reference to FIGS. 31-35, detailed descriptions are provided of example systems and devices for haptics, artificial reality, and virtual reality that may be used in conjunction with the microfluidic systems of the present disclosure.

[0045] FIG. 1 is an illustration of an example piston 100 of a fluidic valve (e.g., a microfluidic valve) biased in a down position, according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure. Piston 100 may be configured to be positioned within a fluidic valve device to control a direction of flow and/or pressure of the fluid (e.g., air, a gas, a liquid, etc.). Piston 100 may include a flange 102 along an outer perimeter of piston 100 that may be shaped and sized for securing within a corresponding flange receptacle area in the fluidic valve body. Flange 102 may be configured to anchor piston 100 to the fluidic valve such that a shaft 104 of piston 100 may move in a vertical direction (as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 1) relative to the fluidic valve body. The flange 102 may extend radially outward from shaft 104.

[0046] Piston 100 may further include a flexible sloped region 106 (e.g., a hinge portion) between flange 102 and shaft 104 of piston 100. Flexible sloped region 106 may be configured to allow shaft 104 of flexible sloped region 106 to move vertically relative to the valve body while flange 102 portion remains fixed within the valve body. Piston 100 may include a flexible material including, without limitation, rubber, polymer, nitrile, silicone, or a combination thereof. The flexible material may be configured to allow shaft 104 of piston 100 to move vertically while the flange remains fixed with respect to the fluidic valve body.

[0047] Advantages of the present disclosure over traditional piston designs may include the ability to scale the size of piston 100 down to dimensions that allow large scale integration of a plurality of pistons 100 (e.g., dozens, hundreds, or thousands of pistons) into a compact fluidic system package (e.g., full adder 2900 of FIG. 29, fluidic system 3000 of FIG. 30). For example, the outer diameter of flange 102 may be less than 10 mm, less than 5 mm, less than 2 mm, or less than 1 mm. Another advantage of the present disclosure over traditional piston designs may include the high reliability of piston 100 after repeated cycling (e.g., thousands or millions of cycles) of piston 100 in a microfluidic system (e.g., fluidic system 3000 of FIG. 30).

[0048] Piston 100 may include a gate 108 (e.g., a control gate) disposed on the top center region of piston 100. Gate 108 may be positioned and configured to receive a positive fluid pressure that applies a force to piston 100, causing piston 100 to move down in the vertical direction (as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 1). Piston 100 may further include a base 110 disposed in the lower region (as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 1) of piston 100. Base 110 may be positioned and configured to receive a positive fluid pressure that applies a force to piston 100 causing piston 100 to move up in the vertical direction (as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 1). Piston 100 may also include features that assist in the process of assembling piston 100 into a valve body (e.g., a machined or molded acrylic body as described below with reference to FIGS. 5, 8A, and 8B). For example, base 110 of piston 100 may be tapered such that the bottom of base 110 (as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 1) may include a diameter D1 that is smaller than a diameter D2 at the top of base 110 to assist in the insertion of piston 100 into the valve body. In addition, the tapered base 110 may facilitate sealing base 110 against a valve seat when piston 100 is in a down position. Piston 100 may also include a hole 112 extending through the center of piston 100 to assist insertion tooling when installing piston 100 into the valve body.

[0049] Piston 100 may be configured to be actuated through multiple positions. In some examples, piston 100 may be actuated through two positions (e.g., binary actuation). For example, piston 100 may be actuated to a down position (as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 1) when sufficient positive pressure is applied to gate 108. Piston 100 may be actuated to an up position (as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 1) when sufficient positive pressure is applied to base 110 and/or to a lower surface of flexible shaped region 106. In some examples, piston 100 may be biased to a certain position in the absence of fluid pressure on gate 108 or base 110. As shown in FIG. 1, piston 100 may be biased to a down position in the absence of fluid pressure on gate 108 or base 110. The downward bias may be accomplished by the configuration of flexible sloped region 106 extending downward from flange 102 to shaft 104.

[0050] FIG. 2 is an illustration of an example piston 200 of a fluidic valve (e.g., a microfluidic valve) biased in an up position, according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure. In some respects, piston 200 may be similar to piston 100 of FIG. 1. For example, piston 200 may also include a gate 208 positioned and configured to receive a fluid pressure that applies a force to piston 200, causing piston 200 to move down in the vertical direction (as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 2) and a base 210 disposed in a lower region of piston 200. Base 210 may be positioned and configured to receive a fluid pressure that applies a force to piston 200 causing piston 200 to move up in the vertical direction (as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 2). Piston 200 may include a flange 202 on the outer perimeter of piston 200, a shaft 204, and a flexible sloped region 206 (e.g., a hinge portion) between flange 202 and shaft 204.

[0051] Piston 200 may also be configured to be actuated through multiple positions including two positions (e.g., binary actuation). For example, piston 200 may be actuated to a down position (as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 2) when pressure is applied to gate 208 and actuated to an up position (as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 2) when pressure is applied to base 210 and/or to a lower surface of flexible sloped region 206. In some examples, piston 200 may also be biased to a certain position in the absence of fluid pressure on gate 208 or base 210. In contrast to the biased-down position of piston 100 in FIG. 1, piston 200 may be biased to an up position in the absence of fluid pressure on gate 208 or base 210. The upward bias may be accomplished by the configuration of flexible sloped region 206 extending upward from flange 202 to shaft 204.

[0052] FIG. 3 is an illustration of an example piston 300 of a fluidic valve (e.g., a microfluidic valve) biased to a center position, according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure. In some respects, piston 300 may be similar to piston 100 of FIG. 1 and piston 200 of FIG. 2. For example, piston 300 may also include a gate 308 positioned and configured to receive a fluid pressure that applies a force to piston 300, causing piston 300 to move down in the vertical direction (as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 3) and a base 310 disposed in the lower region of piston 300. Base 310 may be positioned and configured to receive a fluid pressure that applies a force to piston 300 causing piston 300 to move up in the vertical direction (as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 3). Piston 300 may include a flange 302 on the outer perimeter of piston 300, a shaft 304, and a flexible region 306 (e.g., a hinge portion) between flange 302 and shaft 304.

[0053] Piston 300 may also be configured to be actuated through multiple positions. In contrast to piston 100 of FIG. 1 and piston 200 of FIG. 2, piston 300 may be actuated through three positions. For example, piston 300 may be actuated to a down position (as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 3) when pressure is applied to gate 308 and actuated to an up position (as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 3) when pressure is applied to base 310 and/or to a lower surface of flexible region 306. In some examples, piston 300 may also be biased to a certain position in the absence of fluid pressure on gate 308 or base 310. In contrast to the biased down position of piston 100 in FIG. 1 and the biased up position of piston 200 in FIG. 2, piston 300 may be biased to a center position in the absence of fluid pressure on gate 308 or base 310. The central bias may be accomplished by the configuration of flexible region 306 extending inward (albeit along a ridged, valleyed, or undulating path) from flange 302 to shaft 304.

[0054] FIG. 4 is an illustration of an example piston 400 of a fluidic valve (e.g., a microfluidic valve) configured with a high gain gate 408, according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure. In some respects, piston 400 may be similar to piston 100 of FIG. 1, piston 200 of FIG. 2, and piston 300 of FIG. 3. For example, piston 400 may also include gate 408 positioned and configured to receive a fluid pressure that applies a force to piston 400, causing piston 400 to move down in the vertical direction (as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 4) and a base 410 disposed in the lower region of piston 400. Base 410 may be positioned and configured to receive a fluid pressure that applies a force to piston 400 causing piston 400 to move up in the vertical direction (as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 4). Piston 400 may include a flange 402 on the outer perimeter of piston 400, a shaft 404, and a flexible sloped region 406 (e.g., a hinge portion) between flange 402 and shaft 404.

[0055] In contrast to piston 100 of FIG. 1, piston 200 of FIG. 2, and piston 300 of FIG. 3, gate 408 of piston 400 of FIG. 4 may be configured with a larger surface area than gates 108, 208, and 308. The larger surface area of gate 408 may be configured to provide a higher force in a downward direction (as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 4) as compared to the downward force of gates 108, 208, and 308 for any given fluid pressure that is applied. In some examples, piston 400 may be configured to switch from an up position to a down position faster than pistons 100, 200, or 300 due to the higher force applied to piston 400 by the larger surface area of piston 400.

[0056] Piston 400 may also be configured to be actuated through multiple positions including two positions (e.g., binary actuation) or three positions. For example, piston 400 may be actuated to a down position (as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 4) when pressure is applied to gate 408 and actuated to an up position (as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 4) when pressure is applied to base 410 and/or to a lower surface of flexible sloped region 406. In some examples, piston 400 may also be biased to a certain position in the absence of fluid pressure on gate 408 or base 410. In some examples, piston 400 may be biased to an up position, a central position, or a down position in the absence of fluid pressure on gate 408 or base 410.

[0057] FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of an example fluidic valve 500, according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure. In some examples, fluidic valve 500 may be configured to control the flow of a fluid to a fluid mechanism. Fluidic valve 500 may be fluidly coupled to, for example, a fluid-driven mechanism (e.g., a fluid actuator, a haptic device, an inflatable bladder, etc.), a fluid channel, another fluidic valve, a fluid reservoir, or a combination thereof.

[0058] Fluidic valve 500 (e.g., a microfluidic valve) described with reference to FIG. 5 may include a first port 522 (e.g., a first input channel, a first inlet) that is configured to convey a first fluid from a fluid source (e.g., a piezoelectric valve, a pressurized fluid source, a fluid pump, compressed air, etc.) exhibiting a pressure into fluidic valve 500. A base port 524 (e.g., a second inlet channel, a second inlet port) may be configured to convey a second fluid from a fluid source (e.g., a piezoelectric valve, a pressurized fluid source, a fluid pump, compressed air, etc.) exhibiting a pressure into fluidic valve 500. Second port 520 (e.g., an output channel) may be configured to convey one of the first fluid from first port 522 or the second fluid from base port 524 out of fluidic valve 500. Second port 520 may be fluidly coupled to, for example, a fluid-driven mechanism (e.g., a fluid actuator, a haptic device, an inflatable bladder, etc.), another fluid channel, another fluidic valve, a fluid reservoir, or a combination thereof. Each of first port 522, second port 520, and base port 524 may be configured as a pressure source port or a pressure drain port depending on how fluidic valve 500 is coupled within a fluidic system.

[0059] The movement of a piston 501 between a first position (e.g., an up position as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 5) and a second position (e.g., a down position as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 5) may control fluid flow through fluidic valve 500. A gate portion 508 may be movable between the up position that inhibits fluid flow from first port 522 to base port 524 and the down position that inhibits fluid flow from the first port 522 to second port 520. The movement of piston 501 between the up and down positions may be determined at least in part by control pressure applied against gate portion 508 (e.g., a control gate) of piston 501. Piston 501 may be a movable component that is configured to transmit an input force, pressure, or displacement to a flow restricting region of fluidic valve 500 to restrict or stop the fluid flow through base port 524, first port 522, and/or second port 520. Conversely, in some examples, application of a force, pressure, or displacement to piston 501 may result in opening the flow restricting region to allow or increase flow through base port 524, first port 522, and/or second port 520. In some examples, piston 501 may be movable between two positions (e.g., up position and down position) and second port 520 may always be fluidly coupled to either first port 522 or base port 524 depending on the position of piston 501.

[0060] In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 5, pressurization of gate port 526 may cause the piston 501 to move to the down position fluidly coupling base port 524 to first port 522 and blocking second port 520. When gate port 526 is not pressurized, pressurization of second port 520 may cause piston 501 to move to the up position fluidly coupling first port 522 to second port 520 and blocking base port 524. Pressurization of second port 520 may apply a force to an underside region 528 of piston 501 causing piston 501 to move to the up position. In some examples, base port 524 or first port 522 may be constantly pressurized. When base port 524 or first port 522 is constantly pressurized and gate port 526 is pressurized at the same or similar pressure level, the force on gate portion 508 on the top of piston 501 in a downward direction may be greater than the force on piston 501 in the upward direction causing piston 501 to move downward. The force on piston 501 in a downward direction may be greater than the force on piston 501 in the upward direction due to the larger surface area of gate portion 508 as compared to the surface area of underside region 528 and the surface area of base 510 thereby creating a larger force in the downward direction.

[0061] In additional embodiments, the fluidic connection between first port 522, second port 520, and base port 524 may be different than the connection shown in FIG. 5. For example, when piston 501 is in the down position, base port 524 and second port 520 may be in fluid communication, allowing fluid to flow from base port 524 to second port 520. When piston 501 is in the up position, first port 522 and second port 520 may be in fluid communication, allowing fluid to flow from first port 522 to second port 520. This configuration is shown, for example, in FIGS. 8A and 8B.

[0062] FIG. 6A is a plan view of example pistons 601 disposed in a fluidic valve assembly 600. FIG. 6B is a semitransparent perspective view of fluidic valve assembly 600 that includes multiple pistons 601. Fluidic valve assembly 600 may include multiple pistons 601 positioned and configured within fluidic valve assembly 600 to form a fluidic circuit including a first fluidic valve 602, a second fluidic valve 603, and a third fluidic valve 604. Fluidic valve assembly 600 may include multiple fluidic channels 653 that interconnect the fluidic valves 602, 603, 604 to each other and that fluidically connect the valve assembly 600 into a system (e.g., microfluidic control system 3000 of FIG. 30, a haptic system, etc.).

[0063] Fluidic valve assembly 600 may include multiple layers of material (e.g., an acrylic material) that are stacked and bonded to one another to facilitate manufacturing and assembly. Each of the layers may include features desired for large scale integration of microfluidic valve circuits including, without limitation, channels, vias, ports, pistons, seals, valves, electronics, or a combination thereof. Each of the layers may be sealed and/or bonded to an adjacent layer allowing the fluid to move through the internal components of fluidic valve assembly. In some examples, each of the layers may include an acrylic material. Each of the layers may also include through holes 605 that are positioned to line up with through holes 605 of adjacent layers, creating holes (e.g., fluid paths, fluid channels) that extend though the entire assembly. In some examples, the layers may be bonded to one another by injecting a solvent (e.g., acetone) into the through holes 605. The injected solvent may wick between the layers of acrylic. The injected solvent may act as a gluing agent to create a bond between the acrylic layers. In additional embodiments, a solid element (e.g., pin, screw, bolt, etc.) may be inserted into through holes 605 to secure the layers to each other.

[0064] FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of a piezoelectric fluidic valve 700 (also referred to herein as “piezo valve 700”), according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure. Piezo valve 700 may fluidically couple a pressurized fluid source at source port 755 to the output port 757 of piezo valve and/or fluidically couple a fluid drain at drain port 756 to output port 757 of piezo valve 700. In some examples, piezo valve 700 may provide a source and/or drain of pressurized fluid to a valve assembly such as the valve assemblies associated with FIGS. 6A, 6B, 8A, 8B, 9-16, 18-25, 27-31, and 34-35. Piezo valve 700 may be electrically actuated and may provide an interface between an electronic control system (e.g., an artificial-reality control system, a haptic control system, a fluidic logic control system, etc.) and a fluidic valve system (e.g., a fluidic valve system of haptic gloves of FIGS. 33-34). Piezo valve 700 may include electrical connections 760 to connect a first piezo actuator 762 and a second piezo actuator 763 to an electronic control system. In some examples, electrical connections 760 may be sealed off from source port 755 and drain port 756 of piezo valve 700 by O-rings, gaskets, glue, acetone bonding, or other sealing elements or materials. Piezo valve 700 may be manufactured by stacking layers of material. For example, 3 layers of acrylic material may be stacked and bonded according to the process described above with reference to FIGS. 6A and 6B. A first layer may include source port 755, a second layer may include output port 757, and the third layer may include drain port 756 as shown in FIG. 7.

[0065] In some examples, the pressure source may be a constantly pressurized source of fluid (e.g., compressed air at 15-30 PSI) applied to source port 755. The pressure drain applied to drain port 756 may be open to the ambient atmosphere (e.g., an exhaust port). Piezo valve 700 may include a first piezo actuator 762 and a second piezo actuator 763 (e.g., piezo-electric bending actuators, piezo-ceramic bending actuators) that may be configured as cantilevered beams secured on the left side of first piezo actuator 762 and second piezo actuator 763 (as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 7). First piezo actuator 762 may be positioned and configured to control the fluidic coupling between source port 755 and output port 757 and second piezo actuator 763 may be positioned and configured to control the fluidic coupling between drain port 756 and output port 757. Both first piezo actuator 762 and second piezo actuator 763 may be configured to be actuated in the same direction and at the same time. For example, first piezo actuator 762 and second piezo actuator 763 may be actuated in the downward direction (as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 7) such that an aperture between drain port 756 and output port 757 is opened allowing fluidic coupling between drain port 756 and output port 757 while an aperture between source port 755 and output port 757 is closed.

[0066] When first piezo actuator 762 and second piezo actuator 763 are actuated in the upward direction (as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 7) the aperture between source port 755 and output port 757 may open allowing fluidic coupling between source port 755 and output port 757 while the aperture between drain port 756 and output port 757 is closed. Both first piezo actuator 762 and second piezo actuator 763 may be in a substantially planar state when first piezo actuator 762 and second piezo actuator 763 are in a closed position (e.g., not electrically actuated or actuated to a closed position), thereby closing the apertures and blocking fluid flow. Both first piezo actuator 762 and second piezo actuator 763 may apply their peak amount of force against the apertures when in the substantially planar state as compared to a deformed state (e.g., an electrically actuated state). The higher force applied to the apertures by first piezo actuator 762 and second piezo actuator 763 may reduce fluid leakage from source port 755 to output port 757 and from output port 757 to drain port 756.

[0067] In some examples, using first piezo actuator 762 and second piezo actuator 763 in piezo valve 700 may allow the volume of the fluid channel between the two sealing surfaces of piezo valve 700 to be reduced. This reduction in volume may reduce the amount of fluid required to fill the volume and/or drain from the volume when switching between high and low pressure within the channel, thereby enabling faster switching frequencies (e.g., switching frequencies of hundreds of cycles per second) as compared to traditional piezo valves that may include a single piezo actuator.

[0068] Potential advantages of piezo valve 700 may include a faster response time in switching piezo valve 700, higher operating fluid pressures, and/or higher fluid flow rates, as compared to traditional piezo valves.

[0069] FIGS. 8A and 8B are cross-sectional views of an example fluidic valve buffer 800, according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure. Fluidic valve buffer 800 may be the same as or similar to fluidic valve 500 described with reference to FIG. 5. Fluidic valve buffer 800 may include a base port 824 coupled to a pressurized fluid source (e.g., a fluid pump, compressed air, etc.) while a first port 822 is coupled to a pressure drain (e.g., open to atmospheric pressure). As shown in FIG. 8A, when a gate port 826 is not pressurized, the pressure in base port 824 may apply a force to the bottom of a piston 801 at base 810 causing piston 801 to move in an upwards direction (as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 8A) and open a fluid path between first port 822 and second port 820, coupling the pressure (e.g., atmospheric pressure) on first port 822 to second port 820. As shown in FIG. 8B, when gate port 826 is pressurized, piston 801 may move in a downwards direction (as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 8B) and open a fluid path between base port 824 and a second port 820, coupling the pressurized fluid from base port 824 to second port 820. In some examples, fluidic valve buffer 800 of FIGS. 8A and 8B may be configured to mirror the pressure state (e.g., pressurized or unpressurized) of gate port 826 onto the pressure state of second port 820 while providing a different (e.g., higher or lower) fluid pressure and/or fluid flow rate from first port 822 and/or base port 824 than is provided by the fluid at gate port 826.

[0070] FIGS. 9A and 9B are cross-sectional views of an example fluidic valve inverter 900, according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure. Fluidic valve inverter 900 may include fluidic valve 500 described with reference to FIG. 5. Fluidic valve inverter 900 may include a base port 924 (lower port as viewed from the perspective of FIGS. 9A and 9B) coupled to a low-pressure drain (e.g., open to atmospheric pressure) while a first port 922 (left port as viewed from the perspective of FIGS. 9A and 9B) is coupled to a high-pressure source. Fluidic valve inverter 900 may be configured to operate according to a truth table 930 of FIG. 9C.

[0071] When a gate port 926 is pressurized, a piston 901 may move in a downwards direction as shown in FIG. 9B and open a fluid path between base port 924 and a second port 920, coupling second port 920 to base port 924. When gate port 926 is not pressurized, pressure in first port 922 may apply a force to the sloped region of piston 901 and/or the underside of the gate region of piston 901 causing piston 901 to move in an upwards direction as shown in FIG. 9A and open a fluid path between first port 922 and second port 920, coupling the pressurized fluid of first port 922 to second port 920. Fluidic valve inverter 900 of FIG. 6 may mirror an inverted pressure state of gate port 926 onto the pressure state of second port 920. In some examples, fluidic valve inverter 900 may be configured as part of a fluidic valve combinatorial logic circuit and provide an inverting function for the logic circuit.

[0072] FIGS. 10A-10D are cross-sectional views of an example OR fluidic logic-gate device 1000 (OR gate), according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure. FIG. 10E is a truth table 1030 corresponding to OR gate 1000. OR gate 1000 may include the fluidic valve described with reference to FIG. 5. OR gate 1000 may include a base port 1024 coupled to a pressurized source. A first port 1022 (also labeled B in FIGS. 10A-10D) and a gate port 1026 (also labeled A in FIGS. 10A-10D) may receive fluid inputs that include a high-pressure source (logic 1) or a low-pressure drain (logic 0). OR gate 1000 may be configured to operate according to logic truth table 1030.

[0073] When both gate port 1026 and first port 1022 are at a low pressure (logic 0), the source pressure on base port 1024 may apply a force to a base 1010 of a piston 1001 causing piston 1001 to move in an upwards direction (as viewed from the perspective of FIGS. 10A-10D) and open a fluid path between first port 1022 and second port 1020, coupling the low pressure to second port 1020. When gate port 1026 is at a low pressure (logic 0) and first port 1022 is at a high pressure (logic 1), the pressure in base port 1024 may apply a force to base 1010 of piston 1001 causing the piston 1001 to move in an upwards direction (as viewed from the perspective of FIGS. 10A-10D) and open a fluid path between first port 1022 and second port 1020, coupling the high pressure to second port 1020.

[0074] When gate port 1026 is at a high pressure (logic 1) and first port 1022 is at a low pressure (logic 0), the high pressure in gate port 1026 may apply a force to the top of piston 1001 causing the piston to move in a downwards direction (as viewed from the perspective of FIGS. 10A-10D) and open a fluid path between base port 1024 and second port 1020, coupling the high pressure to second port 1020. When gate port 1026 and first port 1022 are at a high pressure (logic 1), the high pressure in gate port 1026 may apply a force to the top of piston 1001 causing the piston 1001 to move in a downwards direction (as viewed from the perspective of FIGS. 10A-10D) and open a fluid path between first port 1022 and second port 1020, coupling the high pressure to second port 1020. In some examples, OR gate 1000 may be part of a fluidic valve combinatorial logic circuit and provide a logical OR function for the logic circuit.

[0075] FIGS. 11A-11D are cross-sectional views of an example AND fluidic logic-gate device 1100 (AND gate), according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure. FIG. 11E is a truth table 1130 corresponding to the AND gate 1100. AND gate 1100 may include fluidic valve 500 described with reference to FIG. 5. AND gate 1100 may include a first port 1122 coupled to a low pressure (e.g., open to atmospheric pressure). A base port 1124 (labeled B in FIGS. 11A-11D) and a gate port 1126 (labeled A in FIGS. 11A-11D) may receive fluid inputs that include a high pressure (logic 1) or a low pressure (logic 0). AND 1100 gate may be configured to operate according to a logic truth table 1130.

[0076] When both gate port 1126 and base port 1124 are at a low pressure (logic 0), the elastomeric properties of a piston 1101 may be configured to cause piston 1101 to form into a shape that moves piston 1101 to an upward position (as viewed from the perspective of FIGS. 11A-11D) and open a fluid path between first port 1122 and a second port 1120, coupling the low pressure to second port 1120. When gate port 1126 is at a low pressure (logic 0) and base port 1124 is at a high pressure (logic 1), the high pressure in base port 1124 may apply a force to a base 1110 on the bottom of piston 1101 causing piston 1101 to move in an upwards direction (as viewed from the perspective of FIGS. 11A-11D) and open a fluid path between first port 1122 and second port 1120, coupling the low pressure to second port 1120. When gate port 1126 is at a high pressure (logic 1) and base port 1124 is at a low pressure (logic 0), the high pressure may apply a force to the top of piston 1101 causing piston 1101 to move in a downwards direction (as viewed from the perspective of FIGS. 11A-11D) and open a fluid path between base port 1124 and second port 1120, coupling the low pressure to second port 1120.

[0077] When gate port 1126 and base port 1124 are each at a high pressure (logic 1), the high pressure in gate port 1126 may apply a downward force to the top of piston 1101 and the high pressure in base port 1124 may apply an upward force to base 1110 of piston 1101. In some examples, the high pressure in gate port 1126 may be substantially the same as the high pressure in base port 1124. However, the downward force on piston 1101 and the upward force on piston 1101 may not be substantially equal due to the unequal surface areas of the top of piston 1101 and base 1110 of piston 1101. As described above with reference to FIG. 5, the force on piston 1101 in the downward direction may be greater than the force on piston 1101 in the upward direction due to the larger surface area of the top of piston 1101 as compared to the surface area of the underside region of base 1110 thereby creating a larger force in the downward direction. The sum of the forces acting on piston 1101 may cause piston 1101 to move in a downwards direction (as viewed from the perspective of FIGS. 11A-11D) and open a fluid path between base port 1124 and second port 1120, coupling the high pressure to second port 1120. In some examples, AND gate 1100 may be part of a fluidic valve combinatorial logic circuit and provide a logical AND function for the logic circuit.

[0078] FIG. 12 is a cross-sectional view of an example NOR fluidic logic-gate device 1200 (NOR gate), according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure. NOR gate 1200 may include a first fluidic valve 1216 (left side fluidic valve as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 12) and a second fluidic valve 1218 (right side fluidic valve as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 12). First fluidic valve 1216 and second fluidic valve 1218 may each include fluidic valve 500 described with reference to FIG. 5.

[0079] First fluidic valve 1216 may be configured as the OR gate of FIGS. 10A-10D and second fluidic valve 1218 may be configured as the inverter of FIGS. 9A-9B. First fluidic valve 1216 may include a base port 1224 coupled to a high-pressure source. First port 1222 (labeled as B in FIG. 12) and gate port 1226 (labeled as A in FIG. 12) may receive fluid inputs that exhibit a high pressure (logic 1) or a low pressure (logic 0). A second port 1220 of first fluidic valve 1216 may be inverted by second fluidic valve 1218. To this end, second port 1220 of first fluidic valve 1216 may be fluidically coupled to a gate port 1226 of second fluidic valve 1218. First port 1222 of second fluidic valve 1218 may be coupled to a high pressure (e.g., a source) and base port 1224 of second fluidic valve 1218 may be coupled to a low pressure (e.g., a drain, atmospheric pressure, etc.). Second port 1220 (labeled O in FIG. 12) of second fluidic valve 1218 may be an output of NOR gate 1200. NOR gate 1200 may be configured to operate according to the logic truth table 1230 shown in FIG. 12.

[0080] Corresponding to the first row of truth table 1230, when both gate port 1226 (A) and the first port 1222 (B) of first fluidic valve 1216 are coupled to a low pressure (logic 0), the source pressure on base port 1224 of first fluidic valve 1216 may apply a force to the bottom of piston 1201 causing piston 1201 to move in an upwards direction (as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 12) and open a fluid path between first port 1222 and second port 1220, coupling the low pressure to second port 1220. Corresponding to the second row of truth table 1230, when gate port 1226 (A) of first fluidic valve 1216 is coupled to a low pressure (logic 0) and first port 1222 (B) of first fluidic valve 1216 is coupled to a high pressure (logic 1), the source pressure on base port 1224 may apply a force to the bottom of piston 1201 causing the piston to move in an upwards direction (as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 12) and open a fluid path between first port 1222 and second port 1220 of first fluidic device 1216, coupling the high-pressure source to second port 1220 of first fluidic device 1216.

[0081] Corresponding to the third row of truth table 1230, when gate port 1226 of first fluidic valve 1216 is coupled to a high pressure (logic 1) and first port 1222 of first fluidic valve 1216 is coupled to a low pressure (logic 0), the high pressure on gate port 1226 may apply a force to the top of piston 1201 causing the piston to move in a downwards direction (as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 12) and open a fluid path between gate port 1226 and second port 1220, coupling the high pressure to second port 1220. Corresponding to the last row of truth table 1230, when gate port 1226 and first port 1222 of first fluidic valve 1216 are coupled to a high pressure (logic 1), the high pressure on gate port 1226 may apply a force to the top of piston 1201 causing the piston to move in a downwards direction (as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 12) and open a fluid path between first port 1222 and second port 1220, coupling the high pressure to second port 1220 of first fluidic valve 1216.

[0082] As noted above, second port 1220 of first fluidic valve 1216 may be fluidically coupled to gate port 1226 of second fluidic valve 1218. Second fluidic valve 1218 may be configured as the inverter of FIGS. 9A and 9B. A first port 1222 of second fluidic valve 1218 may be coupled to a high-pressure source and a base port 1224 of second fluidic valve 1218 may be coupled to a low-pressure drain. When gate port 1226 of second fluidic valve 1218 receives high pressure from second port 1220 of first fluidic valve 1216, second port 1220 (O) of second fluidic valve 1218 may be coupled to the low pressure of base port 1224. When gate port 1226 of second fluidic valve 1218 is coupled to low pressure from second port 1220 of first fluidic valve 1216, second port 1220 (O) of second fluidic valve 1218 may be coupled to the high pressure of first port 1222. In some examples, NOR gate 1200 may be part of a fluidic valve combinatorial logic circuit and provide a logical NOR function for the logic circuit.

[0083] FIG. 13 is a cross-sectional view of an example NAND fluidic logic-gate device 1300 (NAND gate), according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure. NAND gate 1300 may include a first fluidic valve 1316 (left side fluidic valve as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 13) and a second fluidic valve 1318 (right side fluidic valve as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 13). First fluidic valve 1316 and second fluidic valve 1318 may include fluidic valve 500 described with reference to FIG. 5. First fluidic valve 1316 may be configured as the AND gate of FIGS. 11A-11D and second fluidic valve 1318 may be configured as the inverter of FIGS. 9A and 9B. First fluidic valve 1216 may include a first port 1322 coupled to a low-pressure drain (e.g., atmospheric pressure). A base port 1324 (labeled B in FIG. 13) and a gate port 1326 (labeled A in FIG. 13) may receive fluid inputs that include a high pressure (logic 1) or a low pressure (logic 0). A second port 1320 of first fluidic valve 1316 may be inverted by second fluidic valve 1318. Second port 1320 of first fluidic valve 1316 may be fluidically coupled to a gate port 1326 of second fluidic valve 1318. A first port 1322 of second fluidic valve 1318 may be coupled to a high-pressure source and a base port 1324 of second fluidic valve 1318 may be coupled to a low-pressure drain (e.g., atmospheric pressure). A second port 1320 (labeled O in FIG. 13) may be an output of NAND gate 1300. NAND gate 1300 may operate according to the logic truth table 1330 shown in FIG. 13.

[0084] Corresponding to the first row of logic table 1330, when both gate port 1326 and base port 1324 of first fluidic valve 1316 are coupled to a low pressure (logic 0), the elastomeric properties of piston 1301 may cause piston 1301 to form into a shape that moves piston 1301 to the upward position (as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 13) and open a fluid path between first port 1322 and second port 1320 of first fluidic valve 1316, coupling the low-pressure drain to second port 1320. Corresponding to the second row of logic table 1330, when gate port 1326 of first fluidic valve 1316 is coupled to a low pressure (logic 0) and base port 1324 of first fluidic valve 1316 is coupled to a high pressure (logic 1), the high pressure may apply a force to the bottom of piston 1301 causing the piston to move (or remain) in an upwards direction (as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 13) and open a fluid path between first port 1322 and second port 1320 of first fluidic valve 1316, coupling the low pressure to second port 1320 of first fluidic valve 1316.

[0085] Corresponding to the third row of logic table 1330, when gate port 1326 of first fluidic valve 1316 is coupled to a high pressure (logic 1) and base port 1324 of first fluidic valve 1316 is coupled to a low pressure (logic 0), the high pressure on gate port 1326 may apply a force to the top of piston 1301 causing piston 1301 to move in a downwards direction (as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 13) and open a fluid path between base port 1324 and second port 1320 of first fluidic valve 1316, coupling the low pressure to second port 1320 of first fluidic valve 1316. Corresponding to the last row of logic table 1330, when gate port 1326 and base port 1324 of first fluidic valve 1316 are coupled to a high pressure (logic 1), the high pressure may create a net force on the top of piston 1301 causing piston 1301 to move in a downwards direction (as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 13) and open a fluid path between base port 1324 and second port 1320, coupling the high pressure to second port 1320 of first fluidic valve 1316.

[0086] As noted above, second port 1320 of first fluidic valve 1316 may be fluidically coupled to a gate port 1326 of second fluidic valve 1318. Second fluidic valve 1318 may be configured as the inverter of FIGS. 9A-9B. A first port 1322 of second fluidic valve 1318 may be coupled to a high-pressure source and a base port 1324 of second fluidic valve 1318 may be coupled to a low-pressure drain (e.g., atmospheric pressure). When gate port 1326 of second fluidic valve 1318 receives high pressure from second port 1320 of first fluidic valve 1316, a second port 1320 (O) of second fluidic valve 1318 may be coupled to the low pressure of base port 1324. When gate port 1326 of second fluidic valve 1318 receives low pressure from second port 1320 of first fluidic valve 1316, second port 1320 (O) of second fluidic valve 1318 may be coupled to the high pressure of first port 1322. In some examples, NAND gate 1300 may be part of a fluidic valve combinatorial logic circuit and provide a logical NAND function for the logic circuit.

[0087] FIG. 14 is a cross-sectional view of an example XOR (exclusive or) fluidic logic-gate device 1400 (XOR gate), according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure. XOR gate 1400 may include a first fluidic valve 1416 (left side fluidic valve as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 14) and a second fluidic valve 1418 (right side fluidic valve as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 14). First fluidic valve 1416 and second fluidic valve 1418 may each include fluidic valve 500 described with reference to FIG. 5. First fluidic valve 1416 may include a first port 1422 coupled to a high-pressure source. A base port 1424 of first fluidic valve 1416 may be coupled to a low-pressure drain. A gate port 1426 (labeled B in FIG. 14) of first fluidic valve 1416 and a gate port 1426 (labeled A in FIG. 14) of second fluidic valve 1418 may receive fluid inputs that exhibit a high pressure (logic 1) or a low pressure (logic 0). A second port 1420 of first fluidic valve 1416 may be coupled to a base port 1424 (labeled B in FIG. 14) of second fluidic valve 1418. Base port 1424 of second fluidic valve 1418 may be configured to exhibit an inverted fluidic signal relative to gate port 1426 of first fluidic valve 1416. Although not shown in FIG. 14, gate port 1426 (B) of first fluidic valve 1416 may be coupled to first port 1422 of second fluidic valve 1418. A second port 1420 (labeled O in FIG. 14) may be an output of XOR gate 1400. XOR gate 1400 may operate according to the logic truth table 1430 shown in FIG. 14.

[0088] Corresponding to the first row of truth table 1430, when both gate port 1426 (A) of second fluidic valve 1418 and gate port 1426 (B) of first fluidic valve 1416 are coupled to a low pressure (logic 0), high pressure from first port 1422 may apply a force to the underside region of piston 1401 that moves piston 1401 of first fluidic valve 1416 to an upward position (as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 14) and couples the high pressure to second port 1420 of first fluidic valve 1416 and base port 1424 of second fluidic valve 1418. High pressure on base port 1424 (B) may apply a force to the bottom of piston 1401 of second fluidic valve 1418 that moves piston 1401 to an upward position (as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 14) and couples the low pressure on first port 1422 (B) of second fluidic valve 1418 to a second port 1420 (O) of second fluidic valve 1418.

[0089] Corresponding to the second row of truth table 1430, when gate port 1426 (A) of second fluidic valve 1418 is coupled to a low pressure (logic 0) and gate port 1426 (B) of first fluidic valve 1416 is coupled to a high pressure (logic 1), the elastomeric properties of piston 1401 of second fluidic valve 1418 may cause piston 1401 to form into a shape that moves piston 1401 to the upward position (as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 14) and opens a fluid path between first port 1422 and second port 1420 of first fluidic valve 1416, coupling the high pressure on first port 1422 (B) to second port 1420 (O) of second fluidic valve 1418.

[0090] Corresponding to the third column of truth table 1430, when gate port 1426 (A) of second fluidic valve 1418 is coupled to a high pressure (logic 1) and gate port 1426 (B) of first fluidic valve 1416 is coupled to a low pressure (logic 0), high pressure on first port 1422 of first fluidic valve 1416 may apply a force to the underside region of piston 1401 that moves piston 1401 of first fluidic valve 1416 to an upward position (as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 14) and couples the high pressure to second port 1420 of first fluidic valve 1416 and base port 1424 of second fluidic valve 1418. High pressure on gate port 1426 (A) of second fluidic valve 1418 may force piston 1401 on second fluidic valve 1418 downward, opening a path from base port 1424 to second port 1420 (O) of second fluidic valve 1418 and couple the high pressure to second port 1420 (O) of second fluidic valve 1418.

[0091] Corresponding to the last row in truth table 1430, when gate port 1426 (A) of second fluidic valve 1418 and gate port 1426 (B) of first fluidic valve 1416 are coupled to a high pressure (logic 1), the high pressure may force pistons 1401 of first fluidic valve 1416 and second fluidic valve 1418 downward (as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 14) creating a fluid path from base port 1424 to second port 1420 on first fluidic valve 1416 and base port 1424 of second fluidic valve 1418. The high pressure on piston 1401 of second fluidic valve 1418 may create a fluid path from base port 1424 to second port 1420 (O) of second fluidic valve 1418, coupling the low pressure to second port 1420 (O) of second fluidic valve 1418. In some examples, XOR gate 1400 may be part of a fluidic valve combinatorial logic circuit and provide a logical XOR function for the logic circuit.

[0092] FIG. 15 is a cross-sectional view of an example XNOR fluidic logic-gate device 1500 (XNOR gate), according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure. XNOR gate 1500 may include a first fluidic valve 1516 (e.g., the left side fluidic valve as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 15) and a second fluidic valve 1518 (e.g., the right side fluidic valve as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 15). First fluidic valve 1516 and second fluidic valve 1518 may include fluidic valve 500 described with reference to FIG. 5. First fluidic valve 1516 may include a first port 1522 coupled to a high-pressure source. A base port 1524 of first fluidic valve 1516 may be coupled to a low-pressure drain. A gate port 1526 (labeled B in FIG. 15) of first fluidic valve 1516 and a gate port 1526 (labeled A in FIG. 15) of a second fluidic valve 1518 may receive fluid inputs that exhibit a high pressure source (logic 1) or a low-pressure drain (logic 0). A second port 1520 of first fluidic valve 1516 may be coupled to a first port 1522 (labeled B in FIG. 15) of second fluidic valve 1518. Although not shown in FIG. 15, gate port 1526 (labeled B in FIG. 15) of first fluidic valve 1516 may be fluidically coupled to a base port 1524 (also labeled B in FIG. 15) of second fluidic valve 1518. A second port 1520 (labeled O in FIG. 15) may be an output of XNOR gate 1500. XNOR gate 1500 may operate according to the logic truth table 1530 shown in FIG. 15.

[0093] Corresponding to the first row of truth table 1530, when both gate port 1526 (A) of second fluidic valve 1518 and gate port 1526 (B) of first fluidic valve 1516 (connected to base port 1524 of second fluidic valve 1518) are coupled to a low pressure (logic 0), high pressure on first port 1522 of first fluidic valve 1516 may apply a force to the underside region of piston 1501 that moves piston 1501 of first fluidic valve 1516 to an upward position (as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 15) and couple the high pressure to second port 1520 of first fluidic valve 1516 and first port 1522 (B) of second fluidic valve 1518. High pressure on first port 1522 (B) may apply a force to the underside region of piston 1501 of second fluidic valve 1518 that moves piston 1501 to an upward position (as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 15) and couples the high pressure on first port 1522 (B) of second fluidic valve 1518 to second port 1520 (O) of second fluidic valve 1518.

[0094] Corresponding to the second row of truth table 1530, when gate port 1526 (A) of second fluidic valve 1518 is coupled to a low pressure (logic 0) and gate port 1526 (B) of first fluidic valve 1516 is coupled to a high pressure (logic 1), the high pressure on gate port 1526 (B) of first fluidic valve 1516 may force the piston 1501 of first fluidic valve 1516 to a downward position (as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 15) creating a flow path from base port 1524 to second port 1520 of first fluidic valve 1516 and couple the low pressure to second port 1520 of first fluidic valve 1516 and first port 1522 (B) of second fluidic valve 1518. The high pressure on base port 1524 of second fluidic valve 1528 (coupled to the B input) may cause piston 1501 of second fluidic valve 1518 to move to an upward position (as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 15) opening a fluid path between first port 1522 (B) and second port 1520 (O), coupling the low pressure on first port 1522 (B) to second port 1520 (O) of second fluidic valve 1518.

[0095] Corresponding to the third row of truth table 1530, when gate port 1526 (A) of second fluidic valve 1518 is coupled to a high pressure source (logic 1) and gate port 1526 (B) of first fluidic valve 1516 is coupled to a low-pressure drain (logic 0), high pressure from first port 1522 of first fluidic valve 1516 may apply a force on the underside region of piston 1501 that moves piston 1501 of first fluidic valve 1516 to an upward position (as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 15) and couples the high pressure to second port 1520 of first fluidic valve 1516 and first port 1522 (B) of second fluidic valve 1518. High pressure on gate port 1526 (A) of second fluidic valve 1518 may force piston 1501 of second fluidic valve 1518 downward (as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 15) opening a fluid path from base port 1524 of second fluidic valve 1518 (coupled to the B input) to second port 1520 (O) of second fluidic valve 1518 and couple the low pressure to second port 1520 (O) of second fluidic valve 1518.

[0096] Corresponding to the last row of truth table 1530, when gate port 1526 (A) of second fluidic valve 1518 and gate port 1526 (B) of first fluidic valve 1516 are coupled to a high pressure (logic 1), the high pressure may force pistons 1501 of first fluidic valve 1516 and second fluidic valve 1518 downward (as viewed from the perspective of FIG. 15) creating a fluid path from the low-pressure drain on base port 1524 to second port 1520 of first fluidic valve 1516. The high pressure on piston 1501 of second fluidic valve 1518 may create a fluid path from base port 1524 of second fluidic valve 1518 (coupled to the B input) to second port 1520 (O) of second fluidic valve 1518 coupling the high pressure to second port 1520 (O) of second fluidic valve 1518. In some examples, XNOR gate 1500 may be part of a fluidic valve combinatorial logic circuit and provide a logical XNOR function for the logic circuit.

[0097] FIG. 16 is a cross-sectional view of an example fluidic demultiplexer device 1600, according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure. Fluidic demultiplexer device 1600 (also referred to herein as “demux 1600”) may include a plurality of fluidic valves 500 described above with reference to FIG. 5. The fluidic valves of demux 1600 may be fluidically coupled to one another as shown in FIG. 16. Demux 1600 may include a first port 1622 (e.g., an input port) that is fluidically coupled to one of 2.sup.N control gates (e.g., output latches) based on the pressure states of N select ports. The example demux 1600 of FIG. 16 shows an embodiment of N=3, where 3 select ports 1630 (1) … 1630 (3) may be configured to select one of eight output latches 1632 (1) … 1632 (8). However, the present embodiment is not so limited and any number of select ports 1630 and any number of output latches 1632 may be used.

[0098] Select ports 1630 (1) … 1630 (3) may be configured as gate ports (e.g., gate port 526 as described above with reference to FIG. 5) and may be used to apply a high pressure (logic 1) or a low pressure (logic 0) to the gate portion (e.g., gate portion 508 as described above with reference to FIG. 5) of the piston (e.g., piston 501 as described above with reference to FIG. 5) disposed in the top center area of the piston. Each combination of high and low pressure on select ports 1630 (1) … 1630 (3) may block or unblock fluid paths in demux 1600 fluid circuit to create a unique fluid path from first port 1622 to one of output latches 1632 (1) … 1632 (8). The combination of pressure inputs on select ports 1630 (1) … 1630 (3) may select one of output latches 1632 (1) … 1632 (8). Each of output latches 1632 (1) … 1632 (8) may include a drive input port. The drive input port may be at a high pressure or a low pressure and may be configured (e.g., connected) as a common input to each of output latches 1632 (1) … 1632 (8). The drive input pressure (high pressure or low pressure) may be conveyed to one of output (1) … output (8) of the selected latch based on the unique combination of select ports 1630 (1) … 1630 (3). Each of output latches 1632 (1) … 1632 (8) may include a latch as described below with reference to FIGS. 22 and 23.

[0099] FIG. 17 illustrates a logic diagram 1700 and a truth table 1730 for a fluidic full adder device (e.g., full adder 1800 of FIG. 18), according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure. Logic diagram 1700 shows combinatorial logic gates for a full adder that receives a first binary input A, a second binary input B, and a carry-in input C.sub.in. Logic diagram 1700 may function according to truth table 1730 and provides an output S that is the arithmetic sum of sum of first binary input A, second binary input B, and carry-in input C.sub.in. Logic diagram 1700 may also function to provide an arithmetic carry-out C.sub.out of first binary input A, second binary input B, and carry-in input C.sub.in. Each binary fluidic input may be represented by a high-pressure state or a low-pressure state.

[0100] Logic diagram 1700 of the fluidic full adder device may be implemented by a fluidic logic circuit using fluidic valves 500 described in reference to FIG. 5. For example, the fluidic full adder device may be implemented by the embodiment described with reference to FIG. 18 below. Additionally or alternatively, the fluidic full adder device may be cascaded to produce adders of any number of binary fluidic inputs by daisy-chaining carry-out C.sub.out of one full adder to carry-in C.sub.10 of the adjacent full adder. In some examples, the fluidic full adder may be used to create a fluidic arithmetic logic unit and may be used for fluid arithmetic to calculate addresses, table indices, increment and decrement operators, and similar logic and/or computational operations.

[0101] FIG. 18 is a cross-sectional view of an example fluidic full adder device 1800 (also referred to as “full adder 1800”), according to at least one embodiment of the present disclosure. Full adder 1800 may be configured according to truth table 1830 of FIG. 18 and may include a plurality of fluidic valves 500 described above with reference to FIG. 5. Full adder 1800 may include a first XOR gate 1840 (e.g., XOR fluidic logic-gate device 1400 of FIG. 14) that is configured to receive a first binary fluidic input A and a second binary fluidic input B (high pressure or low pressure), and produce a logical exclusive OR function thereof at a first output 1841 of first XOR gate 1840. Full adder 1800 may include a second XOR gate 1842 that is configured to receive first output 1841 and a carry-in input C.sub.10 and produce a logical exclusive OR function thereof at a second output (labeled S in FIG. 18) of second XOR gate 1842 that is representative of an arithmetic sum S of A, B, and C.sub.10 binary fluidic inputs. Full adder 1800 may include a first AND gate 1844 (e.g., AND fluidic logic-gate device 1100 of FIGS. 11A-11D) that is configured to receive first output 1841 and carry-in input C.sub.10 binary fluidic inputs and produce a logical AND function thereof at a third output 1845 of AND gate 1844.

[0102] Full adder 1800 may include a second AND gate 1846 that is configured to receive first input A and second input B and produce a logical AND function thereof at a fourth output 1847 from second AND gate 1846. Full adder 1800 may include an OR gate 1848 (e.g., OR fluidic logic-gate device 1000 of FIG. 10) that is configured to receive third output 1845 and fourth output 1847, respectively, and produce a logical OR function thereof at a carry output C.sub.out of OR gate 1848 that is representative of an arithmetic carry of first input A, second input B, and carry-in input C.sub.in. In some examples, full adder 1800 may be part of a fluidic valve sequential and/combinatorial logic circuit and provide an arithmetic adding function for the logic circuit.

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