Spring 2010 MEAM Seminar
Thursday, February 25, 2:00 P.M., Towne 337
Hosted by: Katherine Kuchenbecker
Micron: An Active Handheld Micromanipulator
Associate Research Professor
The Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University
Accuracy enhancement for micromanipulation has the potential to produce significant benefits in clinical microsurgery, cell micromanipulation, and other applications. The goal of enhancing accuracy while also minimizing cost and maximizing ease of use has led my laboratory to develop a fully handheld instrument, known as “Micron,” which performs active compensation of erroneous motion such as hand tremor. The instrument estimates the undesired component of its movement, and compensates by deflecting its tip using a piezoelectrically-actuated three-degree-of-freedom parallel manipulator. Feedback sensing for control is provided by an optical tracker constructed in our laboratory. The tracker uses two position-sensitive detectors mounted near the workspace to detect three LED’s on the manipulator and one on the handle, providing six-degree-of-freedom tracking with resolution of 4 microns at 2 kHz sampling. The system has been augmented with a stereo pair of cameras that view the workspace through the operating microscope, enabling vision-based control modes. Current research involves moving beyond the original application of tremor suppression to investigate the wider range of possibilities that such a system offers, including local motion scaling, position-based adaptations of virtual fixtures, and automation of tasks. The talk will describe the design and operation of Micron, and will present experimental results from a variety of control modes and application domains.