Improved Large Deflection Micro and Nano Manipulator

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The manipulation of micro- and nanosized materials is critical to the application of scanning probe microscopes, nanolithography, data storage, biological probing, and many others. The typical implementation for manipulating these small materials is to have a cantilever suspended above a piezoelectric positioning stage; the cantilever holds the scanning probe or other functional device while the stage positions the object. This setup has limited range, is expensive, and typically requires a laser-photodiode positioning system that limits the environments in which it can operate.

Researchers at Purdue University have designed a new microrobotic manipulator with improved range of motion and self-calibration. This manipulator replaces the fixed cantilever with a microscopic arm that is actuated by piezoelectric muscles. The arm has three degrees of freedom and has integrated sensors that allow it to sense its position and self-calibrate. No positioning stage or laser-photodiode positioning is needed, so the arm is able to operate on an object of any size, even in murky environments.

Advantages:
-Improved range of motion and self-calibration
-No positioning stage needed

Potential Applications:
-Robotics
-Research labs
May 31, 2013
Utility Patent
United States
9,190,600
Nov 17, 2015

Nov 8, 2012
Provisional-Patent
United States
(None)
(None)

Jun 13, 2012
Provisional-Patent
United States
(None)
(None)
Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization
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