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Micro- and Nanorobotics

The micro- and nanorobotics group has carried out numerous research in cell manipulation, microassembly, inspection of microparts, measurement of micro- and nanoforces, microfluidics, paper fiber handling, in vivo diagnostics and nanomanipulation, where both theoretical and experimental methods are used. During the years, the research group has generated many innovative research results, such as a piezo-hydraulic micromanipulator, environment controlled microassembly, automatic 6 DOF microgripper, hybrid microassembly combining robotics and self-assembly, and in vivo telemetric capsules, etc.

The research is highly interdisciplinary, from micro- and nanoscale physics including surface sciences, mechatronics, to automation methods. On methodology, the research group is actively working on micro- and nanomanipulation techniques based on both innovative applications of physics and advanced automation algorithms.

The leader of the group Prof. Quan Zhou was the coordinator EU FP7 project FAB2ASM, the first PPP project of the European Economic Recovery Plan. The results of the research has been presented in the invited talks such as in the session “EU Success Stories” in the EU Manufuture 2011 and other technical workshops. The research group has extensive collaboration with both academic partners and industrial partners. Through the previous EU projects, the research group has a well-established collaboration network with major research micro- and nanorobotics groups in Europe. The research group has also extensively collaborated with industry, including: NXP semiconductor, Beam Express, ST microelectronics, Datacon, EpiCrystal, Modulight, Perkin Elmer Finland, VTI technologies, etc.


  • Open position for doctoral student who plan to start in spring 2014, application deadline 31.12.2013. More information.
  • Workshop "Microassembly: Robotics and Beyond", with IEEE ICRA 2013, More information

Group Members

Focus areas

The research targets of the group is to develop highly efficient manipulation tools and methods for micro- and nanoscale objects for biological applications, micro- and nanosystems, and microfluidics. The manipulation includes wide operations from movement, placement, assembly, fixing, to penetration, destruction, injection, aspiration etc.

One of the recent focuses is hybrid microassembly merging robotics and self-assembly, the research group has extensively studied the fundamentals and application related aspects of the topic, which has led to successful demonstrations in integration of small dies, thin dies, optoelectronic components and 3D integration.

Currently, the research group is actively working on micro- and nanorobotic manipulation and automation methods, including microassembly methods using both robotics and self-assembly, autonomous micro- and nanomanipulation techniques, novel mobile microrobots, and their applications in both industry and biomedical applications.

Current research topics

Micro/nanorobotics and automation

  • Hybrid microassembly combining robotics and self-assembly (see also FAB2ASM)
  • Intracellular micromanipulation and force measurement
  • Autonomous microassembly and micromanipulation

Solid-liquid interactions and self-assembly

  • Physics of wetting and droplet manipulation on patterns of different topological structures and surface properties,
  • Microassembly on large area flexible and stretchable substrates
  • Self-assembly on patterns with various features, e.g. jagged edges, segmented patterns, and black silicon patterns.

Previous research and results


  • Zeiss EVO HD-15-LS Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope
  • Veeco CP-II Atomic Force Microscope
  • Two microassembly stations
  • One biomanipulation system with with fluorescence imaging
  • One nanomanipulation system
  • One micro/nano force measurement system
  • Other items: surface tension meter, reflow oven, etc