A concept of an array actuator that is used to control the tip-sample separation of cantilevers in a two-dimensional (2D) probe array scanning system is proposed in this article. The feasibility of the concept is demonstrated with a 10 × 10 array actuator with 500 μm xy-pitches. The array actuator is made by slicing a bulk piezoceramic block. The obtained maximum actuation of a single probe was 2.19 μmp_p at ±168 Vp_p. A major issue for the actuator was the insufficient strength of the frame of the probe array chip. The demonstrated array actuator is highly compatible with previously developed parallel readout modules that use either a parallel optical beam or integrated piezoresistive deflection sensing. A large-scale 2D probe array is our ultimate target. © 2007 The Japan Society of Applied Physics.