Micro-robotics is an emerging field combining robotics and microsystems.
It is becoming a new field of robotics research. What exactly is a micro-robot? An exhaustive definition is difficult to give, but we can say that micro-robotics combines the miniature sizes and/or resolution of microsystems with the precise
trajectory control of robotics (position and effort control by the servo-control of the movements of its actuators). We must also include the range of tasks that a micro-robot may carry out, with the associated problems of defining and programming those tasks and the user interfaces, remembering that users have no direct access to such small scales using their own senses.
The scale factor between the macro and micro worlds means that the robotics engineer has to completely rethink the robot's main functions (gripping, handling, locomotion etc.) and the technical means for achieving them. The engineer has to study the types of actuation that can be used in the micro world: not only their physical principles but also their ability to perform effectively in micro-robots (from the point of view of energy efficiency, mechanical power, response times, controllability etc.).
Note: This definition is by FEMTO-ST "Franche-Comté Electronique, Mécanique, Thermique et Optique - Sciences et Technologies", a French research institute in Franche-Comté created in January 2004 by the merger of the 5 laboratories listed below, which became its departments:
- CREST (Research centre for flows, surfaces and transfers);
- LMARC (Applied mechanics laboratory of R. Chaléat);
- LOPMD (P.M. Duffieux optics laboratory);
- LPMO (Oscillator physics and metrology laboratory);