The Integration of Computational Solid Models and Computer Vision for Sensing, Control, and Manipulation at the Microscale

Michael Greminger, University of Minnesota

The manipulation of deformable objects is an important problem in robotics and arises in many applications including biomanipulation, microassembly, and robotic surgery.  I will present the use of computer vision integrated with computational solid models to provide displacement and force feedback for robotic interaction with deformable objects at the microscale.  Computer vision is chosen to provide this feedback because of the difficulty in implementing other feedback technologies at the microscale and because microscope images are readily available in many micromanipulation systems.  A four degree of freedom thermally actuated MEMS microgripper will also be presented.  This microgripper uses compliant mechanisms to provide its degrees of freedom and introduces a new thermal actuator design.  Since the motion of the gripper arises from the deformation of compliant members, deformable object computer vision tracking can be used to provide both position and force feedback greatly simplifying the design of the microgripper.  Finally, applications of deformable object tracking for the study of biomaterials will be presented.

Abstract Author(s): Michael Greminger<br />Bradley Nelson