IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems

Workshop on Robotics for Nanosciences and Nanotechnology

Bally's Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, NV, October 27, 2003

Metin Sitti

Metin Sitti

Metin Sitti focuses on the development of micro- and nanoscale robotic and manufacturing systems for novel manufacturing, analysis, and control tools at the micro- and nanoscales by integrating robotics, nanotechnology, MEMS, and biotechnology fields. The other main motivation is to contribute to the understanding and controlling of adhesion and friction at the nanoscale.

In the NanoRobotics Lab at Carnegie Mellon University, a system level approach is used where a micro- and nanoscale system is designed, manufactured and controlled for a specific application in an overall perspective. The first key component of the approach is micro/nano-mechatronic design that involves novel micro- and nanoscale actuators, sensors, mechanisms, and controls specific to the application. Second is the use of micro/nanophysical modeling for improved understanding of the system with preliminary simulations and experimental tests. Automatic or tele-operated control and human-machine interfacing of the nano world to the macro world are also implemented for reliable and repeatable tasks. Finally, the lab is interested to utilize biomimetic principles in nature so that we could adapt smart, multifunctional, sub-optimal, and adaptive mechanisms, actuators, materials, and structures in nature to the engineering problems at the nanoscale.

As research projects, first design, fabricate and characterize biomimetic gecko foot-hairs for future surgical and wall-climbing robots. Here, nanomolding is utilized for fabricating synthetic hairs as high-aspect-ratio multi-layer polymer micro/nanostructures. Next, nanomanipulation systems using Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) probes, optical tweezers and dielectrophoresis are constructed for precision manipulation and assembly of nanoscale building blocks such as carbon nanotubes, nanoparticles, biosamples (DNA, RNA, cell, etc.), etc. As an alternative to precision manipulation, manipulated self-assembly technology will be developed in the long term. Finally, novel micro-robots for surgical and space applications are being developed.

Professor Sitti has started a new course called "micro/nanorobotics" in Spring 2003. This first-time interdisciplinary course focuses on design, manufacturing, integration, physics, analysis, and control of state-of-the-art micro/nanorobotic systems for mechanical engineering, robotics, electrical and computer engineering, and biological engineering students working on MEMS, nanotechnology, robotics, biotechnology, and etc. related fields.

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