Ultra-Super-Tiny, Sensitive Gripper Developed

Posted 8 May 2008 at 01:10 UTC by Rog-a-matic Share This

We've see super-tiny grippers before, but the ultra-super-tiny gripper developed by Yu Sun of the University of Toronto in Canada moves to the next level. Not only can it grasp individual objects just 10 micrometres across, it also exerts a tiny, yet controllable force of as little as 20 nanoNewtons using feedback. The result is the ability to grab tiny items and not damage them in the process. This comes in handy when manipulating living cells that are deformed or damaged easily when man-handled. The microscopic gripper can also detect objects it bumps into allowing software to autonomously close in on them for manipulation faster and more accurately than manual control by a human could. Unlike many other exotic advancements, these tiny tweezers are also easy to manufacture by standard silicon etching processes resulting in a production quantity price of only $50.

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