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A hybrid-type micro-gripper with an integrated force sensor
J. Park, W. Moon
511 as cells [1, 2]. Micro-objects are harder to manipulate than macro-objects because they are invisible to the naked eye and they have different behavior. This difference in behavior is due to so-called ‘scale effects’, which are believed to become important when the object size is less than 1 mm . These scale effects arise because the effects of physical quantities such as surface tension and electrostatic force, which can be ignored in the world of macrosized objects, dominate in the world of micro-objects. In other words, physical parameters that can be ignored when handling macro-objects may be the most signiﬁcant ones when manipulating micrometer-sized objects. For this reason, the techniques adopted for the manipulation of micro-objects should be based on ‘micro-physics’, the physics of the behavior and interactions of micro-objects. Systems for manipulating micro-objects must contain three essential components: end-effectors that inﬂuence the micro-objects directly, a micro-positioning system that moves the end effectors to the desired position and controls their orientation, and an assistant vision system that enables the human operator to observe the positions and orientations of the invisible micro-objects. The operator can control the system in two ways. One way is for the operator to ascertain the relative positions of the gripper ﬁngertips and the micro-object by watching the image from the vision system and then to operate the positioning actuators directly by adjusting levers on the control panel. The other way is to use a haptic device which sends 1 command signals to the ﬁnger actuators and receives Introduction sensing signals from sensors integrated into the gripper Since the ﬁrst tools were proposed for handling microﬁngers or the actuators. Either way, the accuracy of posiobjects, considerable progress has been made in the tioning should be less than 1 lm. Regardless of the opmanipulation of micro-objects for assembling micro-parts erating strategy employed, the end effectors of system (i.e. into micro-systems or for manipulating bio-objects such the gripper ﬁngers and ﬁngertips) are the most important components because they are directly involved in the peculiar micro-physics that causes micro-objects to behave Received: 30 May 2002/Accepted: 24 July 2002 in ways that seem extraordinary when compared with the behavior of macro-objects. J. Park, W. Moon (&) Since the early 1990s, various types of grippers have Pohang University of Science and Technology been devised as components of systems that assemble (Postech) San 31 Hyojadong, Namgu, Pohang, micro-parts or manipulate bio-cells [3–6]. Many notable Kyungbuk 790-784, Korea micro-gripper designs have been developed and fabricated E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org by a range of manufacturing methods to demonstrate the We would like to thank Dr. W. K. Chung and Dr. S. S. Lee for feasibility of handling micro-objects with gripping tools their helpful discussions. We also express our appreciation to Mr. [6–9]. Kim et al. developed a micro-gripper actuated by a S. J. Kwon and S. C. Ko for their help in the experiments. This ‘micro comb-drive’ fabricated by silicon-based micromawork is supported partly by the project ‘‘Development of Core Technologies for Fabrication of Micro Tele-Manipulators’’ from chining [4, 5]. George et al. invented a micro-gripper Ministry of Science and Technology, partly by the project ‘‘Brain based on bimetal-type actuators; this micro-gripper obtains its motive force from the mismatch in thermal Korea 21’’ from Ministry of Education, and partly by Posco. Abstract A new hybrid-type micro-gripper that uses an integrated force sensor to control the gripping force was developed for handling micro-objects. The micro-gripper is composed of a piezoelectric multilayer bender for actuating the gripper ﬁngers, silicon ﬁngertips fabricated by use of silicon-based micromachining, and supplementary supports. The micro-gripper is referred to as a hybrid-type micro-gripper because it is composed of two main components: micro-ﬁngertips fabricated using micromachining technology to integrate a very sensitive force sensor for measuring the gripping force, and piezoelectric gripper ﬁnger actuators that are capable of large gripping forces and moving strokes. A systematic design approach was applied to the design of each of components of the developed gripper, which made it possible to establish the functional requirements and design parameters of the micro-gripper. The micro-gripper was installed on a manual manipulator to assess its performance in tasks such as moving micro-objects from one position to a desired position. The gripping force signal was found to have a sensitivity of 667 lN/V and several micro-objects were successfully moved (grasped and released) with the developed gripper. It was found during the testing experiments that the frictional forces between the working plane and the micro-object could be utilized to facilitate the release of micro-objects from the micro-gripper.
3) Ability to grasp (or release) a micro-object stably and repeatedly. Lee et al. Vision systems based on techniques such as electron microscopy or scanning probe microscopy can be adopted for FR I. .1) Ability to correctly grasp (or release) a micro-object at a desired position. It is expected that the design approach established here can be applied in future to the design of other types of micro-grippers with improved functions. In this design process used to devise this system. One important constraint on the design of micro-grippers for manipulating micro bio-objects or cells is that the gripping force should be properly controlled during the gripping and releasing of objects because an excessive gripping force may fatally damage micro-bio-objects. a hybrid-type micro-gripper was developed that was equipped with piezoelectric multiplayer benders as ﬁnger actuators and ﬁnger tips containing force-sensors fabricated by micromachining. From the late 1990s. FR 1. which grasps a micro-object by contact and releases it for manipulating micro-objects for assembly or operations. a mechanical micro-gripper must be able to precisely position the ﬁngertip of the gripper and it must be able to approach the micro-object from any direction so as to grasp (or release) the object at the desired position and in the desired orientation. and a precise positioner can be used for FR IV. Given the drawbacks of the adhesive and absorptive grippers.512 deformations of two adhered aluminum and silicon plates . In spite of the research in this area. The micro-gripper is one type of end-effectors. This approach entailed devising methods for minimizing nominal problems such as sticking during the handling of micro-objects and then integrating these methods into the gripper. Tanikawa et al. FR IV. introduced a chopstick-style micro-gripper as a component integrated into a manipulation system . and (3) absorptive grippers that use an air or acoustic pressure gradient to manipulate micro-objects [14. They can be classiﬁed into three categories: (1) mechanical grippers that operate by direct contact between the micro-objects and ﬁngertips. Of these components for fulﬁlling the functional requirements. Through the design processes the functional requirements and the corresponding design parameters were established using a systematic design approach. absorptive grippers that use air pressure or electrostatic force to absorb objects have little ﬂexibility in control.3 Design parameters corresponding to FR I and FR II The fundamental functions of mechanical grippers are gripping and releasing micro-objects.2 Selection of a proper gripping method Diverse gripping mechanisms have been proposed for the handling of micro-objects. researchers have been actively developing micro-manipulation systems [10–14]. (2) adhesive grippers that use adhesive forces between the ﬁngertips and micro-objects . In addition. 2. most of the microgrippers developed to date cannot perform such fundamental functions as gripping and stable releasing.1 (or 2. these problems are caused by surface tension and contamination of the micro-object by the liquids . the behavior of micro-objects was taken into consideration in the early conceptual design stages in order to achieve as many of the functions required of a micro-gripper as possible. Given that the ultimate objective of a system for the manipulation of micro-objects is to place micro-objects at a desired position in a given orientation. As a consequence of these efforts. micro-grippers should be developed through a design process that from the early stages takes into account the peculiar behavior of microobjects.3 (or 2. The two essential functions of a mechanical microgripper – gripping and releasing – have the following speciﬁc functional requirements: FR 1. The extent to which a micro-gripper fulﬁls the 2 Functional requirements and design parameters 2. 2. and Arai et al. end effectors can be used for FR II and FR III.2) Ability to grasp (or release) a micro-object without damaging the object. FR II. developed a piezoelectric gripper equipped with force sensors . despite the large differences between the behaviors of micro. Ability to posture a micro-object in a desired orientation. a new gripper is developed that uses piezoelectric multi-layer bender and stack actuators and micro-machined cantilever-type ﬁngertips with an integrated force sensor. utilized a shape memory alloy for the actuating material . We refer to the system as a ‘hybrid-type microgripper’ because the ﬁnger actuators and ﬁnger tips are designed and fabricated by different technologies.2 (or 2. we chose to concentrate on developing a mechanical gripper that fulﬁls all of the functional requirements.1 The required functions of micro-manipulation systems Micro-manipulation systems for precisely manipulating micro-objects have the following essential functions: FR I. FR 1. Ability to change the physical condition of a microobject to a desired condition. To achieve these functional requirements. In this paper. Among the grippers that use the adhesive method. In this section we establish systematic design processes for the development of a micro-gripper by considering the functional requirements for micro-gripper operation and the corresponding design parameters. FR III. those that use liquids to grip the micro-objects have problems when releasing the micro-objects.and macro-objects. 16. Ability to observe the micro-object of interest. the end-effectors are the most important because they interact directly with the micro-objects. In 1996. For this reason. This lack of success can be attributed to the fact that most grippers have been designed in the same fashion as grippers for macro-objects. Ability to place a micro-object in a desired position. this approach has been seldom used in spite of the fact that it has no trouble in gripping objects. 17].
In addition to the methods outlined above for removing the causes of adhesive forces. the design parameters of FR 1. It is well known that surface forces such as electrostatic forces. piezoelectric unimorphs. the arrangement of the actuators. In order to solve the problems associated with adhesion by adding supplementary devices with new functions. the number of actuators. hence.1. The piezoelectric multi-layer bender is an example of an actuator that converts longitudinal deformation into bending deformation when a voltage is applied. The ability to control the magnitude of the gripping force by means of a force sensor should additionally contribute to reducing the adhesion caused by van der Waals forces. studies on van der Waals forces have revealed that this adhesive force can be considerably reduced by coating the surface appropriately or by roughening the surface [10. Hence. 2.3 is the selection of ﬁngertips. the charges on the target object should be the main parameter that determines the magnitude of the adhesive force.1. the number of degrees of freedom of the actuators for the ﬁngertips. For this reason. and surface tension have a greater inﬂuence on the handling of micro-objects of less than 100 lm in size than body forces such as gravitational forces . as well as the approach that will be taken to reduce inherent adhesive forces between ﬁngertips and micro-objects.3. Comparison of these independent analyses will then reveal the differences and similarities in the design parameters that result from the different functional requirements. number and size of the ﬁngertips will inﬂuence the ability of the gripper to stably and repeatedly grasp or release a micro-object. we must decide how the predicted problems can be solved. and the precision and speed of positioning of the actuators.1. For example. can be almost completely eliminated by drying the object surface. One design parameter that should be important for both FR 1. 2. 3. 19].1. Given this problem.1. the selection of actuators is crucial to the design of a gripper that satisﬁes the basic functional requirements FR 1. another adhesive force that causes problems when handling micro-objects. Various kinds of actuators can be used for this purpose. In addition. In this study. and 2.3 and FR 2. supplementary methods can be incorporated into the ﬁngertip to assist in the stable releasing of micro objects in repeated trials. . The forces due to surface tension. Then. the ability to sense the gripping force is potentially a very important function when manipulating or operating micro bio-objects because excessive gripping force can damage the object being handled. The following sections describe how the systematic approach is adopted in the design of a micro-gripper. the methods for implementing these devices. for example piezoelectric stacks. two piezoelectric multi-layer actuators are adopted: one piezoelectric multi-layer bender and one piezoelectric stack. Another possible approach is to use the interaction forces between the working table and microobjects to assist in the manipulation. other techniques can be used to apply additional forces between the ﬁngertips and the micro-object that cancel out the adhesive forces.1.2.functional requirements FR 1. or by controlling the physical characteristics of the ﬁngertips. should be considered in the early stages of design. The type.2. To achieve this.3 (releasing a microobject stably and repeatedly) because it is much more difﬁcult to release a micro-object than to grasp it. In addition to the design parameters related to the selection of ﬁngertips. one approach to micro-gripper design that has good chances of success is to eliminate all possible adhesive forces.3 and FR 2. In the case of electrostatic adhesive forces. we need to consider all the possible responses of micro-objects to external actions that can be predicted on the basis of physical principles as well as their known special behaviors. and it can apply a larger force than actuators such as the unimorph or bimorph because it is composed of multiple thin layers of piezoelectric ceramics. In contrast to FR 1. the electrostatic adhesive force should be reduced considerably. and 2.2. electrostatic or electromagnetic forces can be applied to the ﬁngertips and micro-objects in order to cancel out the adhesive force. application of attractive forces between the working table and the micro-object facilitates the release of the object from the ﬁngertips. 1. van der Waals forces. For example.2 is correlated with the selection of an appropriate actuating method. The design of micro-grippers for moving micro-objects is complicated by the fact that the main cause of the adhesion of micro-objects to the ﬁngertip is not clearly known.2.1. and combined shape memory alloy structures. For example.2. the design of the gripper should incorporate these methods. The use of a systematic approach in such design processes is known to be very helpful . adhesion of micro-objects to the ﬁngertips via surface forces can be overcome by removing the forces causing the adhesion.3 (gripping a micro-object stably and repeatedly) differ from those of FR 2. by applying repulsive forces between the ﬁngertips and micro-object. It can provide larger displacements to the ﬁngertips than other piezoelectric stack actuators because it is a type of bender. electrostatic comb-drives. This can be accomplished by decreasing the humidity of the atmosphere or by applying heat to the surface of the ﬁngertips.1 Selection of actuators The actuators control the shifting of the ﬁngertips of the gripper. 1. If methods can be found to solve expected problems. 2. and 2. it is necessary to independently analyze the relations between functional requirements and design parameters for FR 1. 513 3 Design processes The peculiar behavior of micro-objects in comparison to the more familiar macro-objects means that a systematic approach to the design of micro-grippers has the greatest chance of success. Hence. The adhesive forces between micro-objects and ﬁngertips can be reduced if the origin and mechanism of the forces are understood.1 Design based on the functional requirements 3. 1. if these charges can be removed as much as possible by a method such as grounding.
force control may still be useful because it can help to minimize van der Waals forces by minimizing the contact area between the micro-objects and ﬁngertips .3 and 2.e. it was chosen as the ﬁnger actuator that applies the displacements and forces necessary for gripping and releasing. the micro-cantilever should be as ﬂexible as possible. 3. strain gauges. the operator can easily control the gripping force with the hand or ﬁnger in real time. The structure of the .3 has led to the use of various kinds of ﬁngers in previous studies.3 Design of the fingertips In order to manipulate micro-bio objects without damaging them (i. This system can detect very small forces by sensing the bending strain in the micro-cantilever induced by the contact force between the ﬁngertips and the micro-object in a similar manner to the micro-cantilever probe of an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM). Since ﬂexible joints in a structure lower its fundamental frequency. If the signals from the force sensor integrated into the ﬁnger are delivered to a haptic system. Since the micro-cantilever ﬁngertip also acts as a force sensor for the micro-gripper. laser interferometers. To act as an extremely sensitive force sensor. An important additional consideration in the design of the micro-cantilever is ﬁnding a way to reduce the adhesive forces that hinder the release of objects. we adopted a micro-cantilever with integrated piezoresistive strain sensors as a ﬁngertip. to join the components of the gripper assembly. due to the use of a piezoelectric multilayer bender as the ﬁnger actuator. and that the micro-machined gripper is easy damaged in the assembly process because it is so small and composed of brittle silicon . to satisfy FR 1. In addition to the piezoelectric multi-layer bender. 22]. we develop a hybrid-type microgripper composed of ﬁngertips constructed by siliconbased micro-machining and piezoelectric actuators constructed by a conventional manufacturing process. Construction of the entire ﬁngers from a silicon wafer by micro-machining has the merit that the resulting gripper can be fabricated in a micro-size and an arbitrary two-dimensional shape. This mismatch is usually introduced during fabrication. In comparison to previously developed grippers that use a special transformer to amplify the displacement. For example. 2. Hence. but its stiffness must be sufﬁciently large to sustain the gripping forces imposed on it when it is used as a ﬁngertip.1. it can compensate for the mismatch of the ﬁngertips . However. a force sensor must have very high sensitivity and a relatively broad sensing range. To be suitable for use in a micro-gripper. To block structural vibrations. the widely used piezoelectric stack was chosen for adjusting the ends of the two ﬁngertips in order to minimize the mismatch between the two ﬁngertip ends when they are brought together to grasp an object. 19].4 Design process for vibration isolation Vibrations of the ﬁngertips during the processes of gripping and releasing an object make it impossible to carry out the task. this approach has the disadvantages that the micromachining fabrication technology constrains the size and shape of the resulting ﬁngertips. it is difﬁcult to achieve such a high sensitivity with a force sensor that uses structures. the human operator can feel the gripping force through his or her hand. The advantage of this approach is that it gives a gripper that is capable of large displacement strokes of the ﬁngertips. Since the piezoelectric stack can exert a displacement of up to 5 lm with an applied voltage of 60 V. we constructed micro-bosses on the surface that contacts directly with the micro-objects to reduce the adhesive forces between the ﬁngertips and the micro-objects. bolts were used. the gripper supporter should be designed to have a large stiffness value and a high fundamental natural frequency .1.1.2 Finger and fingertips Another design parameter to consider in connection with gripping is the ﬁnger conﬁguration. the natural frequency of the ﬁngertip and gripper structures was checked by calculations using simpliﬁed models composed of mechanical beams. 11]. where possible. Hence. ﬁngertips have been constructed from silicon wafer. 3. In particular. the micro-cantilever is designed to be as stiff as possible on condition that its sensitivity is high enough to detect the smallest force desired. as mentioned in Sect. In this study.2). and piezoelectric sensors of the conventional size [1. However. the two functions of the micro-cantilever place opposing demands on the mechanical characteristics of the cantilever structure. which limits its working space . as well as delicate control of the gripping force due to the use of a micro-cantilever that contains a piezoresistive force sensor fabricated by micro-machining.514 Since the piezoelectric multi-layer bender can offer a relatively large displacement and gripping force to the ﬁngertips. This adaptive operation considerably reduces the possibility of damaging the micro-objects. One method to achieve force control is to attach a force sensor to the micro-ﬁngertip. the gripping force must be properly controlled . the gripper developed here using a piezoelectric stack and multi layer bender is capable of much greater displacements and gripping forces without a special transformer. 3. the fragility problem can be overcome by minimizing damage to the gripper tip during assembly by means of a protector or special packaging in conjunction with precise control of the positions and forces. The close relationship between the ﬁnger conﬁguration and functional requirements FR 1. The advantageous characteristics of the piezoelectric multi-layer bender allow the maximum separation between the ﬁngertips to be more than 200 lm.. In the present study. Using this system while observing the situation via the vision system. When micro-objects other than delicate bio-objects are manipulated.2 and 2. the force sensor should be extremely sensitive because it must detect the force in a microgripper whose gripping force should be controllable to an accuracy of less than 1 lN in order to handle such delicate micro-objects as bio-cells without damaging them. However. 8. It is known that a rough surface causes a smaller van der Waals force than a smooth surface [10. shape memory alloy or cylindrical glass needle [4. Hence.
4. as shown Fig. However. The two silicon cantilever ﬁngertips are installed at the ends of the two actuators after ﬁrst attaching each ﬁngertip to a Printed Circuit Board (PCB) plate as shown in Fig. SolidWorks from SolidWorks Inc. The fabricated silicon ﬁngertips are too small and weak to be directly attached to the piezoelectric actuators. Since the sensor uses piezoresistivity to detect the bending strain of the microcantilever ﬁngertip. 2. and a holding jig were used when the PCBs were combined with the actuators to ensure that the ﬁngertip ends were aligned as precisely as possible. 1. The maximum distance between the ﬁngertips was designed to be about 200 lm because the objects to be handled have diameters up to 100 lm. they are ﬁrst attached to the larger PCB plates. The gripper assembly is composed of a gripper supporter. Hence. 5. 5 Experiments The objectives of the experimental testing were as follows: 515 Fig. Composition of the hybrid microgripper 1. The calculated frequency was about 560 Hz. The ﬁnal micro-gripper assembly is shown in Fig. 3. 2 shows schematics of the ﬁngertips. 1. a piezoelectric stack actuator. and a structure connecting the supporter to the actuators. which may be a piezoelectric multilayer bender or a piezoelectric multi-layer stack. The micro ﬁngertips equipped with an integrated force sensor .gripper assembly was designed to have a fundamental natural frequency greater than 100 Hz because the excitations due to movement of the positioning actuator are predicted to be less than 100 Hz. which is sufﬁciently high to satisfy the requirement. To assess whether the actuator could move the ﬁngertips properly. and then the PCBs are glued to the actuators. the fundamental natural frequency was conﬁrmed using the commercial ﬁnite element analysis package ABAQUS. 3. micro-rotational stages. a piezoelectric multilayer bender. its sensitivity changes with temperature and the relationship between the gripping force and the output voltage is not very linear. After the micro-gripper assembly had been designed in detail. Fig. these problems can be solved by optimizing the fabrication conditions. 1. The detailed geometric modeling and design as well as the process for assembling the parts were executed by use of a 4 Fabrication Micro-ﬁngertips equipped with an integrated force sensor were fabricated using bulk micro-machining technology. commercial CAD package.2 A hybrid-type silicon-fingertip gripper The structure of the gripper designed through the processes described above is illustrated in Fig. Fig. The most difﬁcult of the assembling processes is the connecting of the micro-machined silicon ﬁngertip to the ﬁngertip actuator. The sensitivity of the fabricated integrated-force-sensor is about 667 lN/V. Throughout the assembling processes a 12-times magnifying CCD camera was used to monitor the alignment. as can be seen from the relation between applied force and output voltage shown in Fig. Micro XYZ axis stages.
The entire experimental apparatus was installed on a vibration isolation table to minimize external vibrational effects. a tilting stage. Assembly procedures of the silicon gripper 2.516 Fig.1 Experimental setup The entire experimental setup is shown in Fig. the micro-gripper should be tested on real micro bio-objects since the purpose of integrating a force sensor into the system is to precisely control the gripping force when handling delicate microobjects such as micro bio-cells. the tilting angle of the micro-gripper assembly. and a power supply. To construct a manually-operated gripping system for microobjects. using live bioobjects involves many additional difﬁculties arising from . a rotational stage. The ability to adjust the torsional angle allowed the edges of the two ﬁngertips to be maintained parallel to the ground. The vision system should provide images from different viewpoints to enable the human operator to easily comprehend the relative positions and orientations of the micro-objects in three-dimensions. 5. 4. A background lighting system was needed to clearly observe the microobjects and the micro-gripper ﬁngertips with the CCD cameras. To look for any special interacting behavior between the micro-objects and ﬁngertips. Setup for assembly and the manufactured silicon gripper Fig. 6. Output voltage to applied force in the piezo-resistive strain gauge Fig. In the experiments. The micro-gripper was tested for its ability to manipulate steel beads of size 50–100 lm. The positioning system in this manually-operated gripping system enabled movement of the micro-gripper over ﬁve degrees of freedom: the three translation dimensions. the fabricated micro-gripper was combined with two XYZ axis micro-stages. and a microscope for the top view. 3. Manipulation of the invisible micro-objects on the working plate can only be done with the assistance of a proper vision system for observing the micro-objects. three right-angle brackets. Steel beads were chosen because they represent the simplest objects with which to develop and test the force-sensor-integrated micro-gripper. Information on the interacting behavior may be helpful for improving the performance of micro-grippers in the future. a 12-times magnifying CCD camera was used for the side view. a 10-times magnifying CCD camera for the other side view. To assess the performance of the fabricated hybrid-type micro-gripper through tests of its ability to grasp. and the torsional angle of the gripper assembly. 3. 5. Ultimately. However. which is necessary for stable grasping of micro-objects because there is a few micrometers mismatch between the ﬁngertip ends. and release micro-objects at a desired position. The entire experimental procedure was recorded with a digital camcorder. place.
7. Hence. after which they were separated sufﬁciently to accommodate the object and translated slightly so that the object was between the two ﬁngertips. This procedure was repeated until all the target objects had been moved. Experimental setup for the gripping test of force sensing gripper the fact that the target undergoes random movements. Subsequently. 6. The object was set down by opening the ﬁngertips sufﬁciently. When the ﬁngertips were at the desired location. The ﬁngertips were then slowly rotated to approach the object by rotating the tilting stage. First. 6 Results and discussion In the experiments. The object was then grasped by closing the ﬁngertips. they were slowly tilted down until they touched the surface of the work plate by actuating the tilting stage. The operating procedure was as follows. the object was lifted by rotating the tilting stage upward and shifted to the desired position by adjusting the XYZ axis stage. The signal of the integrated force sensor was monitored during the testing of the gripping and releasing functions. taking advantage of the friction and attraction forces between the micro-object (micro-bead) and the work plate surface.517 Fig. hence. the sensor signal is proportional to Fig. the optical stage was actuated to translate the ﬁngertips to the location where the target micro-object lay at rest. It was found that the signal from the force sensor is directly related to the voltage applied to the piezoelectric multi-layer bender actuators. A releasing method using frictional force . in the present study we concentrate on the performance of the system when manipulating steel beads. three micro-objects of diameter about 80 lm were moved from one position to another.
4. As shown in Fig. 2. Suzuki Y (1996) Flexible microgripper and its application to cesses that from the early stages took into consideration micro-measurement of mechanical and thermal properties. Gripping experiment using the silicon gripper the gripping force. Electro Mechanical Systems 354–359 2. and a haptic device to command the actuators for the gripper and the positioning actuators. In our experiments the micro-objects tended to bounce from the ﬁngertips unless the target object was aligned in the center of the ﬁngertips before grasping and the entire operating procedure was conducted slowly and steadily to grasp and release the micro-object with precise control and without vibrations.518 Fig. a method was proposed to use the frictional forces between a micro-object and the working table to facilitate the release of micro-objects from the micro-gripper.1. micro-objects were successfully moved from one position to another using the developed hybrid-type micro-gripper installed on a manual manipulator. Fukuda T (1997) Biomicromanipulation (new direction for operation improvean integrated force sensor with piezoelectric multi-layer ment). In addition. Since the micro-machined ﬁngertip is a long thin plate with a rectangular cross section. The functional requirements and their corresponding References design parameters were established for a micro-gripper 1. Figure 8 shows sequential images taken while using the micro-grippers to move three steel beads of diameter less than 100 lm so as to align them in a straight line. Proc of the 1997 IEEE/RSJ International Conference bender and stack ﬁnger actuators. are integrated. Andou D. The resulting hybrid-type micro-gripper has several merits: 2. Kasugai T.4. A new hybrid-type micro-gripper was developed that combines micro-machined silicon ﬁngertips containing 2. In the experiments. The incorporation of a haptic device into the control system will be undertaken in future work. 7 Conclusions and future works The main achievements of the present work are as follows: 1. The force sensors can be easily integrated into the ﬁngertips provided they are realizable by surface and bulk micro-machining technologies. The ultimate goal is to be able to adjust the gripping force using a haptic device that receives the measured force signals and sends command signals to control the gripping force. its contacting surface with the micro-objects is planar. Proc of IEEE. The piezoelectric actuators can exert relatively large actuating forces and provide large displacements of the ﬁngertips. 7. grasping was expected to be easy. hence. The inclusion of microbosses on the contacting surface of the ﬁngertips is believed to reduce adhesive van der Waals forces by minimizing the contact area. Fukuda T (1996) Adhesion forces reduction while developing a hybrid-type mechanical microfor micro manipulation based on micro physics. the peculiar behavior of micro-objects. 3.3. 2. In future work we plan to manipulate micro bio-objects using a hybrid-type micro-gripper into which a positioning actuator controlled by a remote haptic device. 8. This micro-gripper on Intelligent Robot and Systems 1300–1305 was designed on the basis of systematic design pro3. Another interesting fact observed during the experiments was that the friction and adhesion forces between the work plate surface and the micro-object could be used to facilitate the release of the micro-bead. The micro-machined ﬁngertips are so ﬂexible that they should hardly damage micro-objects by the gripping force. we found that the success percentage of trials to release a micro-object was considerably improved when the interaction forces between the micro-object and the work plate surface were exploited when the object was released. The Ninth Annual International Workshop on Micro gripper as an example. 2. Morishima K. Arai F. we intend to develop an improved micro-gripper design for perfectly controlling the adhesive forces between the tips and the micro-objects.2. The present results conﬁrm that the force-sensor-integrated silicon ﬁngertip developed here is suitable for use as a component in such an adaptive system. Arai F. . The surfaces of the ﬁngertips in contact with the micro-objects can be roughened to reduce the contact area between the ﬁngertips and microobject. On the basis of observations of the behavior of the micro-objects during experimental testing.
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