Engineering technology

Advanced Micro/Nano Robot Technology

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Project Summary
With the accumulation and progress of advanced manufacturing technology, with the assistance and promotion of micro-electromechanical systems and micro-nano advanced manufacturing processes, robot technology is also making rapid progress and development on a micro scale.

Project Content

Problem Description:

With the accumulation and progress of advanced manufacturing technology, with the assistance and promotion of micro-electromechanical systems and micro-nano advanced manufacturing processes, robot technology is also making rapid progress and development on a micro scale. The application of micro-nano robots in micro-scale mainly has two different forms. The first type is mainly the small size of the robot itself, which can reach less than 1mm. Its small size enables the robot itself to enter human organs, such as blood vessels and digestive tract, to directly detect human health or become a means of auxiliary surgery and treatment. Therefore, the application of this micro-nano robot type has caused great repercussions in the field of medical diagnostic equipment. At the same time, due to the small scale of this kind of robot, its concealment and mobility are high, and it also has great application value in the field of military reconnaissance. The small scale of the second type of micro-nano robot is reflected in its operation capability and accuracy. The volume of the robot's own control and drive system does not belong to the small scale, but the operation accuracy of its end effector can reach the nano level. This kind of micro-nano robot has a wide range of applications in microelectronics industry and biomedical industry. Its application objects include large-scale integrated circuits, micro-nano electromechanical systems, nano sensors, and biological tissues ranging from more than ten nanometers to submicrons in size such as organelles, DNA, chromosomes, etc. The end effector is usually loaded with mechanical, thermal and chemical sensors to record target information so as to provide useful information for nano-process or drug development. At present, the difficulties and challenges of research focus on further reducing the volume of the first type of micro-nano robots and improving the operation accuracy of the second type of micro-nano robots, while adding more advanced sensors and control systems to the two types of robots. Fig. 1. A) the group of robots driven by external magnetic field of the chinese university of hong kong, the first type of micro-nano robots; b) the micro-nano operation robots of Harbin institute of technology, the second type of micro-nano robots

Background of the problem:

In view of the background of interdisciplinary integration of micro-nano robots and the important strategic significance of cutting-edge high technology, as well as their broad prospects in microelectronics, machinery, medicine, materials, electromechanical and military fields, governments, research institutions and enterprises of various countries have invested heavily in this direction. As early as 1990, Both the United States and Japan have formulated special development plans for research and industrialization in this direction: Among them, the main application direction of micro-nano robots in the United States is integrated circuit microelectronics technology. With the support of the priority projects of the National Nature Foundation (NSF) and the Advanced Research Program (DARPA) of the Department of Defense, relying on key universities such as the University of California, Berkeley, and enterprises with strong scientific research strength such as IBM and Lucent, successful commercialization was realized in the early stage of research. Japan's research focus is on precision machining technology. In 1991, a large-scale research program "Ten Years of Micromachining" was launched, worth 250 million US dollars. China's micro-nano robots started a little later and were led and supported by the National 863 Program at the end of last century, with emphasis on research and development organized by universities and research institutes. Enterprises' participation in the initial stage of research was relatively low. However, due to the efforts of scientific researchers to catch up and the advantages of backwardness, China's micro-nano robots have been developed in a relatively comprehensive way and have achieved results in a wide range of application directions such as microelectronics technology, sensor manufacturing, mechanical precision processing, biomedical technology, etc. In the development of different types of micro-nano robots, there are not only micro-scale robots with small volume, but also micro-nano operation robots with high precision of end effector operation.

Latest developments:

A number of universities and research institutes have made representative achievements in the development of micro-nano robots: Since 1997, Nankai University's Bioengineering Micromanipulation Robot Research Group has been developing the first generation of micromanipulation robot system prototype that can automatically carry out biological microscopic experiments. To successfully realize the transgenic injection of animal cells with a diameter of more than 10 microns and a thickness of less than 5 microns and reach a normal expression rate of 70%, and to successfully realize the operation of micro-nano robots to clone pigs this year. The breeding team of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences has used micro-nano operation robots to realize micro-dissection of plant cell chromosomes, promoting the application of direct gene modification editing in crop cultivation. The micro-nano robot system developed by Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics has a global closed-loop visual feedback system. Under the connection of piezoelectric ceramic drive and advanced flexible hinge, the micro-operation of mouse egg cells has been successfully realized. China University of Science and Technology has focused its research and development on optical end effectors. It has used optical tweezers, optical cutting and other technologies to realize micro-nano scale microoperations, and has achieved capture, movement and fusion at the cellular and subcellular levels. It has achieved success in crop transgenic experiments. The micro-nano robot team of Harbin Institute of Technology has achieved a linear displacement resolution of 2 microns to 5 nanometers on their system. At the same time, its coarse motion stroke reaches 25mm and its rotational motion stroke reaches 180 degrees. The platform realizes nano-level high-precision operation and provides a platform for microelectronic manufacturing and preparation and testing of micro-nano electromechanical systems and sensors. The vision tracking system of the micro-manipulator robot hand built by Changchun Institute of Optics, Precision Machinery and Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Dalian University of Technology using micro-nano electromechanical technology realizes micro-stereo imaging and improves the efficiency of the system platform.


After more than ten years of development, the research on micro-nano robots in China has achieved breakthrough results under the general environment of China's economic development, thanks to the increasing investment in scientific research funds, the overall level of China's industry and scientific research has made great progress, and the demand and research and development of the market and enterprises have increased significantly. As a highly cross-cutting discipline, the research and development of micro-nano robots embodies the development of machinery, electronics, computer science, semiconductor technology and robotics. At the same time, it provides effective tools for biomedical, precision manufacturing and other disciplines and industries, and is a landmark important engineering topic.

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China Mechanical Engineering Society
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Author's Introduction

Lin Yuqing
Unit:Beijing University of Technology Professional Title: