Mobile cm3-microrobots with tools for nanoscale imaging and micromanipulation
This paper presents a microrobot concept for microhandling and micromanipulation, which has been developed within the framework of the EU founded project MiCRoN. The concept is explained along with some examples of realized modules for the robots and a number of experimental results. The approach for the design of an individual robot is modular, with each module fulfilling a certain function. An overview is given on the system and robot concept, followed by a presentation of several modules for locomotion and tools. The tool modules include microgrippers as well as small scan stages for scanning probes based on piezoelectric monomorph elements. The overall size of the robots is projected to be about 1cm3. Each robot is individually configurable, which means that it can carry e.g. either a gripper, a scanner or other tools. A number of experiments with the robots have been carried out. Promising results were obtained with a number of already existing modules, showing the possibility to use a number of the presented robots for certain micromanipulation tasks, either individually or in cooperation with multiple agents.