Journal of Micro-Nano Mechatronics

, Volume 4, Issue 1–2, pp 73–83 | Cite as

Vision-based feedback strategy for controlled pushing of microparticles

  • Nicholas A. Lynch
  • Cagdas D. Onal
  • Eugenio Schuster
  • Metin Sitti
Research Paper


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 manipulation Micro-assembly automation Vision-based feedback 



This work was supported in part by a grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Community and Economic Development, through the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Technology Alliance (PITA), and partially by the NSF CAREER award program (Sitti, IIS-0448042).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicholas A. Lynch
    • 1
  • Cagdas D. Onal
    • 3
  • Eugenio Schuster
    • 2
  • Metin Sitti
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Electrical EngineeringLehigh UniversityBethlehemUSA
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical Engineering and MechanicsLehigh UniversityBethlehemUSA
  3. 3.Department of Mechanical EngineeringCarnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA

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