From Micro to Nano and Swarm Robotics

Heinz Wörn, Ramon Estana, Heiko Hamann, Marc Szymanski
in Advances in Climbing and Walking Robots. Proceedings of 10th International Conference (CLAWAR'07) (2007)


Current research in Micro, Nano and Swarm Robots as results of the European projects Miniman, MiCRoN and I-SWARM will be presented. First, the design and the control of 5 to 10cm3 sized mobile micro robots with five degrees of freedom will be shown. They can handle miniaturized parts as for example an optical component or a biological cell with a size in the micrometre-area with an accuracy of 100nm under a microscope or a raster-electron microscope. Second, the design and the control of a 1cm3-sized mobile untethered micro robot will be demonstrated. Here, the robot consists of five parts: the Piezzo locomotion module, the micro control unit, the communication unit, the navigation system and the micro gripper. The mobile robot can be guided and positioned in an arena with an accuracy of 5 micrometre and can be programmed and controlled over the wireless communication unit. Third, the design and the control of 3 × 3 × 3 mm3 sized micro-/nanorobots with 2 degrees of freedom will be presented. The transmission of energy and the communication between the robots is realized via infrared. The robot controller is fully integrated and has limited functionalities. Via basic sensors communication functions and elementary rules and behaviours the micro robot can act in a swarm consisting of hundreds and thousands of robots. Future applications could be monitoring-, inspection-, exploring-tasks etc. of big areas or objects.