Gripping and self-alignment : a route towards autonomous heterogeneous assembly

G. Arutinov, M. Mastrangeli, G. Heck, van, P. Lambert, J.M.J. Toonder, den, A.H. Dietzel, E.C.P. Smits

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


We present a pick-and-place approach driven by capillarity for highly precise and cost-effective assembly of mesoscopic components onto structured substrates. Based on competing liquid bridges, the technology seamlessly combines programmable capillary grasping, handling, and passive releasing with capillary self-alignment of components onto prepatterned assembly sites. The performance of the capillary gripper is illustrated by comparing the measured lifting capillary forces with those predicted by a hydrostatic model of the liquid meniscus. Two component release strategies, based on either axial or shear capillary forces, are discussed and experimentally validated. The release-and-assembly process developed for a continuously moving assembly substrate provides a roll-to-roll-compatible technology for high-resolution and high-throughput component assembly.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1033-1043
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Robotics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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