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Micromachines 2014, 5(1), 66-80; doi:10.3390/mi5010066

Micropositioning and Fast Transport Using a Contactless Micro-Conveyor

* ,
FEMTO-ST Institute, UFC-ENSMM-UTBM-CNRS, Université de Franche-Comté, Besançon 25000, France
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 November 2013 / Revised: 16 December 2013 / Accepted: 6 February 2014 / Published: 12 February 2014
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The micro-conveyor is a 9 × 9 mm2 manipulation surface able to move millimeter-sized planar objects in the four cardinal directions using air flows. Thanks to a specific design, the air flow comes through a network of micro-channels connected to an array of micro-nozzles. Thus, the micro-conveyor generates an array of tilted air jets that lifts and moves the object in the required direction. In this paper, we characterize the device for transport and positioning tasks and evaluate its performances in terms of speed, resolution and repeatability. We show that the micro-conveyor is able to move the object with a speed up to 137 mm · s-1 in less than 100 ms whereas the positioning repeatability is around 17.7 μm with feedback control. The smallest step the object can do is 0.3 μm (positioning resolution). Moreover, we estimated thanks to a dynamic model that the speed could reach 456 mm· s-1 if several micro-conveyors were used to form a conveying line.
Keywords: distributed manipulation; contactless manipulation; air-flow conveyor; micromanipulation; feeding distributed manipulation; contactless manipulation; air-flow conveyor; micromanipulation; feeding
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Laurent, G.J.; Delettre, A.; Zeggari, R.; Yahiaoui, R.; Manceau, J.-F.; Fort-Piat, N.L. Micropositioning and Fast Transport Using a Contactless Micro-Conveyor. Micromachines 2014, 5, 66-80.

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