The Robotics Institute
RI | Seminar | August 29

Robotics Institute Seminar, August 29
Time and Place | Seminar Abstract | Speaker Biography | Speaker Appointments

Robotics for Nanotechnology and Nanotechnology for Robotics

Metin Sitti
Carnegie Mellon University

Time and Place

Mauldin Auditorium (NSH 1305)
Refreshments 3:15 pm
Talk 3:30 pm


For the miniaturization of devices and machines down to atomic and molecular sizes, a nano-robotic approach enabling manipulation, manufacturing, and interaction at the nano-scale is indispensable. Nano-robotics as an emerging robotics field is based on nano-scale physics, fabrication, sensing, actuation, dynamics and control, taking the scaling effects into consideration. This presentation will focus on robotic precision manipulation of nano-objects and manufacturing of biomimetic micro/nano-structures using Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) probes. Here, AFM probes are utilized as a pushing, cutting, and indenting type of nano-manipulator, and also as a 3-D topography and force sensor. At first, using a piezoresistive AFM probe and a teleoperated human-machine interface, particles down to 28 nm diameter are positioned in 2-D by mechanical pushing for developing nano-assembly technology, and touch feedback from the surfaces at the nano-scale is realized. Next, a nano-robotic approach is used for fabricating molding templates of biomimetic gecko foot-hair micro/nanostructures by indenting soft materials. Indented surfaces are molded with a liquid polymer, and, after curing, arrays of synthetic micro/nano-hairs are fabricated from silicone rubber and polyimide kind of polymers. Mass production issues using the robotic approach are discussed, and a parallel micro/nano-hair fabrication technique using self-organized nano-pore membranes as molding templates is proposed. These synthetic hairs would enable novel dry adhesives and future miniature climbing search-and-rescue, space and surgical robots. Finally, miniaturization of the micro/nano-robots using micro- and nanotechnology is discussed, and as a case study, design, manufacturing and control of miniature flying micro-robots and Integrated Nano-Tool Carrier (INTC) robots are explained briefly, and challenging issues are addressed.

Speaker Biography

Metin Sitti received the BSc and MSc degrees in electrical and electronics engineering from Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey, in 1992 and 1994 respectively, and the PhD degree in electrical engineering from the University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan, in 1999. He was a recipient of the Monbusho Research Fellowship from the Japanese Ministry of Education during his study in Japan. He was a research scientist and lecturer in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, University of California at Berkeley during 1999-2002, working in Micromechanical Flying Insects and Biomimetic Gecko Foot-Hair Nanostructures projects, and teaching the graduate level Micro/Nano-Robotics course. He is currently an assistant professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department and the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. His research interests include micro/nano-robotics, nano-manufacturing, MEMS/NEMS, bio-nanotechnology, and tele-robotics. He received the best paper award (1998) in the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, and the best video award (2002), the best student paper nomination (2001), and the best paper nomination (2000) in the IEEE Robotics and Automation Conference. He is the chair of the Nanorobotics and Nanomanufacturing technical committee in the IEEE Nanotechnology Council.

Speaker Appointments

For appointments, please contact Metin Sitti (

The Robotics Institute is part of the School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University.