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PostSubject: Robotic assembly of the world's smallest house   Sun May 20, 2018 12:02 pm

Robotic assembly of the world's smallest house—even a mite doesn't fit through the door

https://phys.org/news/2018-05-robotic-world-smallest-houseeven-mite.html




A French nanorobotics team from the Femto-ST Institute in Besançon, France, assembled a new microrobotics system that pushes forward the frontiers of optical nanotechnologies. Combining several existing technologies, the μRobotex nanofactory builds microstructures in a large vacuum chamber and fixes components onto optical fiber tips with nanometer accuracy. The microhouse construction, reported in the Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology A, demonstrates how researchers can advance optical sensing technologies when they manipulate ion guns, electron beams and finely controlled robotic piloting.

Until now, lab-on-fiber technologies had no robotic actuators for nanoassembly, so working at this scale inhibited engineers from building microstructures. This innovation allows miniaturized sensing elements to be installed on fiber tips so engineers can see and manipulate different components. With this advancement, optical fibers as thin as human hair can be inserted into inaccessible locations like jet engines and blood vessels to detect radiation levels or viral molecules.
"For the first time we were able to realize patterning and assembly with less than 2 nanometers of accuracy, which is a very important result for the robotics and optical community," said Jean-Yves Rauch, an author on the paper.


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