Robotic Assembly Machine
The Precision Robotic Assembly Machine for Building Nuclear Fusion Ignition Targets, invented at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, Calif., is able to perform this task, which involves piecing together a small, but complex assembly that requires micrometer clearances. The dimensional accuracy of these targets is 2 to 20 micrometers, which indicates the manipulative precision of the assembly machine: 100 nm precision and 100 mg resolution force feedback in an operating arena the size of a sugar cube. The machine has a work volume the size of a shoe box.
Innovative use of visual and force feedback and real-time dimensional metrology gives the operator the ability to use the machine like a surgical robot, initiating and controlling the movement of the motorized instruments with hand movements that are precise in the millimeter-scale world, yet scaled to precision in the 100-nm world. This machine can be adapted to manufacturing other complex miniature machines.
August 19, 2009 11:58 AM PDT
Photo by: Contributed by R&D Magazine
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