Micromanipulation by Miniature Robots in a SEM Vacuum Chamber
Ohmi Fuchiwaki and Hisayuki Aoyama
Dept. of Mechanical Engineering and Intelligent Systems, University of Electro-Communications, 1-5-1 Chofugaoka, Chofu, Tokyo 182-8585, Japan
In this paper, we describe flexible micromanipulation organized by insect size robots in scanning electron microscopy. Small robots composed of piezo elements and electromagnets move in the SEM chamber with submicron resolution. They manipulate small objects in cooperation with each other. As a basic operation, one small robot, which has a sliding microtable transports samples at the SEM focus point precisely and this sliding table can be also positioned by the other small robot’s manipulation. This two-robot cooperation provides x-y accurate positioning at any location within the chamber. On the sample table, a small robot with a micromanipulator handles small objects for picking up and putting down. The operator controls each robot easily with real-time monitoring of SEM images. This cooperation of small robots in SEM provides flexible, accurate microprocessing performance with low cost.
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