Nano- and micromanipulators are critical research tools in numerous fields including micro-manufacturing and disease study. Despite their importance, nano- and micromanipulation systems remain inaccessible to many groups due to price and lack of portability. An intuitive and remotely accessible manipulation system helps mitigate this access problem. Previously, optimal control hardware for single-probe manipulation and the effect of latency on user performance were not well understood. Remote access demands full computerization; graphical user interfaces with networking capabilities were developed to fulfill this requirement and allow the use of numerous hardware controllers. Virtual environments were created to simulate the use of a manipulator with full parametric control and measurement capabilities. Users completed simulated tasks with each device and were surveyed about their perceptions. User performance with a commercial manipulator controller was exceeded by performance with both a computer mouse and pen tablet. Latency was imposed within the virtual environment to study it’s effects and establish guidelines as to which latency ranges are acceptable for long-range remote manipulation. User performance began to degrade noticeably at 100 ms and severely at 400 ms and performance with the mouse degraded the least as latency increased. A computer vision system for analyzing carbon nanotube arrays was developed so the computation time could be compared to acceptable system latency. The system characterizes the arrays to a high degree of accuracy and most of the measurement types of obtainable fast enough for real-time analysis.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Manipulators (Mechanism)--Automatic control; Robots--Control systems; Micrurgy
Mechanical Engineering (MS)
Department, Program, or Center
Mechanical Engineering (KGCOE)
Dunn, Ryan M., "Remote Access and Computerized User Control of Robotic Micromanipulators" (2016). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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