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Networked human/robot cooperative environment for tele-assembly of MEMS devices

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The objective of this paper is to develop a networked cooperative environment to achieve human/robot cooperation for reliable and dependable remote microassembly. At a microscale, surface adhesion forces, such as van der Waals, surface tension and electrostatic forces, become stronger than the downward gravitational force. For a reliable and dependable tele-microassembly, it is absolutely necessary to allow close monitoring of the magnitude and direction of those micro-forces interacting with microdevices during the assembly process. In this paper, based on integrating an in situ polyvinylidene fluoride piezoelectric micro-force sensing tool with a resolution in the range of μN, and using event-synchronization for the feedback of assembly video and micro-force, the developed networked human/robot cooperative platform can greatly advance applications in tele-microassembly. As a result, the reliable and dependable human/robot cooperative assembly operations can be achieved and extended to the single or multiple remote work-cells through a local area network or the Internet. This platform has been used successfully to perform a remote assembly of surface MEMS structures with the event-synchronized micro-force/visual feedback via the Internet between USA and Hong Kong.


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