Journal of Micro-Nano Mechatronics

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 73–83

Vision-based feedback strategy for controlled pushing of microparticles


    • Department of Electrical EngineeringLehigh University
  • Cagdas D. Onal
    • Department of Mechanical EngineeringCarnegie Mellon University
  • Eugenio Schuster
    • Department of Mechanical Engineering and MechanicsLehigh University
  • Metin Sitti
    • Department of Mechanical EngineeringCarnegie Mellon University
Research Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s12213-008-0008-8

Cite this article as:
Lynch, N.A., Onal, C.D., Schuster, E. et al. J. Micro-Nano Mech. (2008) 4: 73. doi:10.1007/s12213-008-0008-8


A strategy for controlled pushing is presented for microassembly of 4.5μm polystyrene particles on a flat glass substrate using an atomic force microscope probe tip. Real-time vision based feedback from a CCD camera mounted to a high resolution optical microscope is used to track particle positions relative to the tip and target position. Tip–particle system is modeled in 2D as a non-holonomic differential drive robot. Effectiveness of the controller is demonstrated through experiments performed using a single goal position as well as linking a series of target positions to form a single complex trajectory. Cell decomposition and wavefront expansion algorithms are implemented to autonomously locate a navigable path to a specified target position. Control strategy alleviates problem of slipping and spinning during pushing.


Micro-particle manipulationMicro-assembly automationVision-based feedback

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008