• Bradley J. NelsonEmail author
  • Lixin Dong
  • Fumihito Arai
Part of the Springer Handbooks book series (SHB)


The field of microrobotics covers the robotic manipulation of objects with dimensions in the millimeter to micron range as well as the design and fabrication of autonomous robotic agents that fall within this size range. Nanorobotics is defined in the same way only for dimensions smaller than a micron. With the ability to position and orient objects with micron- and nanometer-scale dimensions, manipulation at each of these scales is a promising way to enable the assembly of micro- and nanosystems, including micro- and nanorobots.

This chapter overviews the state of the art of both micro- and nanorobotics, outlines scaling effects, actuation, and sensing and fabrication at these scales, and focuses on micro- and nanorobotic manipulation systems and their application in microassembly, biotechnology, and the construction and characterization of micro and nanoelectromechanical systems (MEMS/NEMS). Material science, biotechnology, and micro- and nanoelectronics will also benefit from advances in these areas of robotics.


Atomic Force Microscope Scan Tunneling Microscope Assembly Operation Motion Control System Atomic Force Microscope Cantilever 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.









artificial bacterial flagella


alternating current


atomic force microscope


actuator for manipulation




application-specific integrated circuit


charge-coupled device




carbon nanotube


control unit


chemical vapor deposition




deoxyribonucleic acid


degree of freedom


dip-pen nanolithography


deep reactive ion etching




electron-beam induced deposition


electrical discharge machining


field-emission SEM




high-resolution transmission electron microscope


integrated circuit




Lithographie, Galvanoumformung, Abformung


molecular-beam epitaxy


microelectromechanical system


Ministry of International Trade and Industry


metallo-organic chemical vapor deposition


microsystem technology


multiwalled carbon nanotube


nanoelectromechanical system


nanorobotic manipulator


optical microscope


peripheral component interconnect




polymethyl methacrylate


positive photoresist


power source


polyvinylidene fluoride


physical vapor deposition


lead zirconate titanate


quantum dot


reactive-ion etching


room temperature


scanning electron microscope


single electron transistor


shape memory alloy


scanning near-field optical microscopy




scanning probe microscope


scanning tunneling microscope


single-walled carbon nanotube


transmission electron microscope






van der Waals


zona pellucida


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Robotics and Intelligent SystemsETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of Electrical and Computer EngineeringMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  3. 3.Department of Micro-Nano Systems EngineeringNagoya UniversityNagoyaJapan

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