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Proceedings Paper

High-resolution optical positioning system for miniature instrumented robots
Author(s): Sylvain M. Martel; Omar Roushdy; Mark Sherwood; Ian Warwick Hunter
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Paper Abstract

The development of a three-legged miniature robot, such as the NanoWalker, capable of taking steps in the micrometer and sub-micrometer range and equipped with instruments such as scanning, tunneling microsope (STM) tip, requires an adequate positioning system. In order to make use of these instruments, positioning the robot becomes one of the most critical issues. For atomic scale operations within a relatively large workspace, no traditional positioning systems were adequate for this type of robotic environment. The proposed atomic scale positioning system relies on three positioning levels where at each level, the resolution improves from 10 micrometers down to a few picometers while the circular positioning area decreases from 0,5 meter down to 200 nanometers in diameter. While the last two levels are STM- based positioning techniques, the first level with the largest positioning area is based on optical techniques. The paper describes the final set-up for implementing the first positioning level that incorporates a lateral effect photodiode to make measurements of the robot's position by detecting infrared signals emitted by the robot. Using a lens to project the robot's workspace onto the photodiode we are able to achieve of a resolution of a few micrometers in the central region of a typical 0.5-meter workspace. Due mainly to loss of signal at the edges of the workspace,the resolution of the system decreases as we near the edges.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 October 2000
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 4194, Microrobotics and Microassembly II, (11 October 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.403692
Show Author Affiliations
Sylvain M. Martel, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Omar Roushdy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Mark Sherwood, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Ian Warwick Hunter, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4194:
Microrobotics and Microassembly II
Bradley J. Nelson; Jean-Marc Breguet, Editor(s)

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