Development of SCARA-Type Haptic Device for Electrostatic Non-Contact Handling System
This paper describes the development of a SCARA-type haptic device, which will be used to assist a human operator in non-contact object handling of silicon wafers using electrostatic levitation. The device has three degrees of freedom, of which only one (vertical) is actively controlled. By utilizing the admittance control paradigm, a high vertical stiffness and a high output force can be achieved. These properties are necessary for the intended application of non-contact object handling to prevent instabilities (induced by the human motion) of the electrostatic levitation system. As the nominal air gap between object and electrostatic levitator is in the order of 350 micrometer, with an allowable position error of about 150 micrometer, instability can easily occur if there is no haptic assistance, especially in the picking up or placing process. The developed SCARA-type haptic device has a mechanical stiffness of 51 N/mm for the vertical direction when it is in the weakest posture, which is sufficient for the non-contact handling task. The design and performance of the haptic device for the active vertical degree of freedom are described in this paper.