CAREER: Nano-Robotic Manipulation Systems using Atomic Force Microscope Probes

Nano-robotics has recently emerged as a new robotics field that encompasses the programmable manipulation of nano-scale objects where the manipulation dynamics is dominated by nano-scale physics, chemistry, and scaling effects. This career development program is aimed to advance nano-robotics science and engineering related research and educational activities with novel approaches. The research activities in this program will be focused on developing theories and methodologies for analyzing, designing, building, and controlling Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) based nano-robotic manipulation systems. The primary educational goal of this program is to train undergraduate, graduate level, and underrepresented students to be near future intellectual leaders and workforce for newly emerging nano-robotics and nanotechnology areas. To achieve this goal: a new interdisciplinary undergraduate level nanotechnology minor program will be initiated, novel, interdisciplinary and fundamental nanotechnology related engineering courses will be developed, and novel educational tools for remote and interactive nanotechnology training will be introduced. As scientific merits of this work, the understanding of nano-scale physics and dynamics for reliable nano-robot design, prototyping, and control by modeling will be improved, AFM based novel three-dimensional, autonomous, miniature, and massively parallel nano-robotic manipulation systems will be investigated for high volume nano-manufacturing applications, and advanced human-machine user interfaces for intuitive nano- robotic interactions will be proposed. As broader impacts, in addition to training undergraduate and graduate students, the developed research and educational activities will include underrepresented groups such as black and women minorities in Pennsylvania through the CMU summer internship program. Moreover, this program will create a 'cyberinfrastructure' using an internet based remotely controlled AFM system to enable students and researchers from institutions with limited resources remote access to advanced nanotechnology equipment. Finally, the products such as nano-material characterization workstation, nano-wire bonder, and nano-fiber puller resulting from the research activities of this program will have a significant industrial impact.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Information and Intelligent Systems (IIS)
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Thomas C. Henderson
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Carnegie-Mellon University
United States
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