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Proceedings Paper

Microgripper design based on the photothermal bending effect of optical fibers
Author(s): Nicholas Jankovic; Marco Zeman; Ningxu Cai; Philip Igwe; George K. Knopf
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Paper Abstract

A micromanipulator based on the photo-thermal bending effect experienced by a beveled optical fiber is described in this paper. The micromanipulator design incorporates four fingers, two bendable fibers for actively grasping small objects and two stationary fibers to provide structural support while holding the object. Each finger is a 1mm diameter acrylic optic fiber with a 25mm beveled edge near the tip. The beveled edge is coated with a thin layer of black paint where the thickness has a measurable impact on the amount of tip deflection. A light beam, from a 150W halogen illuminator, is directed into the fixed end of the sculpted optic fiber causing the tip at the free end to deflect by approximately 50 microns. Several experiments are conducted to demonstrate that this simple microgripper is able to grasp, hold, and release a variety of small metal screws and ball bearings. Finite element analysis is used to further investigate the physical properties of the optical actuator. The theoretical deflections are slightly greater than the experimentally observed values. The FEM analysis is also used to estimate the maximum force (~ 0.7mN) generated at the actuator tip during deflection.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 October 2004
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 5602, Optomechatronic Sensors, Actuators, and Control, (25 October 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.578034
Show Author Affiliations
Nicholas Jankovic, Univ. of Western Ontario (Canada)
Marco Zeman, Univ. of Western Ontario (Canada)
Ningxu Cai, Univ. of Western Ontario (Canada)
Philip Igwe, Univ. of Western Ontario (Canada)
George K. Knopf, Univ. of Western Ontario (Canada)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5602:
Optomechatronic Sensors, Actuators, and Control
Kee S. Moon, Editor(s)

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