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Proceedings Paper

From decimeter- to centimeter-sized mobile microrobots: the development of the MINIMAN system
Author(s): Heinz Woern; Ferdinand Schmoeckel; Axel Buerkle; Josep Samitier; Manel Puig-Vidal; Stefan A. I. Johansson; Urban Simu; Joerg-Uwe Meyer; Margit Biehl
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Paper Abstract

Based on small mobile robots the presented MINIMAN system provides a platform for micro-manipulation tasks in very different kinds of applications. Three exemplary applications demonstrate the capabilities of the system. Both the high precision assembly of an optical system consisting of three millimeter-sized parts and the positioning of single 20-μm-cells under the light microscope as well as the handling of tiny samples inside the scanning electron microscope are done by the same kind of robot. For the different tasks, the robot is equipped with appropriate tools such as micro-pipettes or grippers with force and tactile sensors. For the extension to a multi-robot system, it is necessary to further reduce the size of robots. For the above mentioned robot prototypes a slip-stick driving principle is employed. While this design proves to work very well for the described decimeter-sized robots, it is not suitable for further miniaturized robots because of their reduced inertia. Therefore, the developed centimeter-sized robot is driven by multilayered piezoactuators performing defined steps without a slipping phase. To reduce the number of connecting wires the microrobot has integrated circuits on board. They include high voltage drivers and a serial communication interface for a minimized number of wires.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 October 2001
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 4568, Microrobotics and Microassembly III, (8 October 2001);
Show Author Affiliations
Heinz Woern, Univ. Karlsruhe (Germany)
Ferdinand Schmoeckel, Univ. Karlsruhe (Germany)
Axel Buerkle, Univ. Karlsruhe (Germany)
Josep Samitier, Univ. de Barcelona (Spain)
Manel Puig-Vidal, Univ. de Barcelona (Spain)
Stefan A. I. Johansson, Uppsala Univ. (Sweden)
Urban Simu, Uppsala Univ. (Sweden)
Joerg-Uwe Meyer, Fraunhofer-Institut fuer Biomedizinische Technik (Germany)
Margit Biehl, Fraunhofer-Institut fuer Biomedizinische Technik (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4568:
Microrobotics and Microassembly III
Bradley J. Nelson; Jean-Marc Breguet, Editor(s)

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