ThomasNet News Logo
Sign Up | Log In | ThomasNet Home | Promote Your Business

Microrobotics Challenge seeks miniature medics, maze masters.

Print | 
Email |  Comment   Share  
October 29, 2010 - Teams engaged in microrobotic, microelectronic, or microelectromechanical systems research are invited to participate in NIST Mobile Microrobotics Challenge 2011. Held as part of 2011 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation that takes place May 9-13, competition will pit microrobots with dimensions measured in micrometers against each other in 2 events - navigation and microassembly - to test agility, maneuverability, control response, and object moving capabilities.

NIST Microrobotics Challenge Seeks Miniature Medics and Maze Masters

(Archive News Story - Products mentioned in this Archive News Story may or may not be available from the manufacturer.)

National Institute of Standards & Technology
100 Bureau Dr., Stop 1070
Gaithersburg, MD, 20899-1070

Press release date: October 26, 2010

They've played soccer, run dashes and deftly inserted pegs into holes-all within a world that can fit inside a single grain of rice. Now, it's time for microrobots-mechanical workhorses whose dimensions are measured in micrometers (millionths of a meter)-to show off their abilities in a friendly competition of miniature maneuvering and manufacturing skills.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), in collaboration with IEEE, is inviting teams currently engaged in microrobotic, microelectronic or microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) research to participate in the NIST Mobile Microrobotics Challenge 2011. The competition will be held as part of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, May 9-13, 2011, in Shanghai, China.

Viewed under a microscope, the microbots are operated by remote control and move in response to changing magnetic fields or electrical signals transmitted to a microchip operating environment. The microbots are a few tens of micrometers to a few hundred micrometers long, and their masses can range from less than a milligram down to just a few nanograms (billionths of a gram). They are manufactured from materials such as aluminum, nickel, gold, silicon and chromium.

The Mobile Microrobotics Challenge 2011 will pit tiny robotic contestants against each other in two events: a mobility challenge in which microrobots will be required to navigate a planar (two-dimensional) maze having the diameter of a pin head; and a microassembly challenge where the competitors must put together multiple microscale components in a narrow channel to simulate operations within a blood vessel by a future medical applications microbot.

These events are designed to "road test" agility, maneuverability, response to computer control and the ability to move objects-all skills that future industrial microbots will need for tasks such as microsurgery within the human body or the manufacture of microscopic electronic devices.

NIST is organizing the 2011Mobile Microrobotics Challenge with the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society. NIST's goal in coordinating competitions between the world's smallest robots is to show the feasibility and accessibility of technologies for fabricating MEMS, which are tiny mechanical devices built onto semiconductor chips. The contests also drive innovation in this new field of robotics by inspiring young scientists and engineers to become involved.

To apply for the NIST Mobile Microrobotics Challenge, teams must submit a proposal by Dec. 1, 2010, by electronic mail to, or by standard mail to: NIST Microrobotics Challenge 2011, c/o Craig McGray, NIST, 100 Bureau Dr., MS 8120, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8120. Proposals must include: a roster of individuals contributing to the team; contact information for the team leader; a list of the facilities available for fabrication, operation and characterization of microrobots; an overview of the microrobot design; an overview of the intended capabilities of the microrobot; and an overview of the fabrication process to be used.

Official rules for the NIST Mobile Microrobotics Challenge 2011 may be found at

Media Contact: Michael E. Newman,, (301) 975-3025
Print | 
Email |  Comment   Share  
Contacts: View detailed contact information.


Post a comment about this story

(your e-mail address will not be posted)
Comment title:
To submit comment, enter the security code shown below and press 'Post Comment'.

 See related product stories
More .....
 See more product news in:
 More New Product News from this company:
NIST-Sponsored Report addresses greenhouse gas measurement.
Disaster/Failure Study Data will be available via NIST website.
NIST Physicist receives 2011 William F. Meggers Award.
More ....
| Featured Manufacturing Jobs
 Other News from this company:
11 New Consortia to Be Launched; Partnerships Span Industries, Link to Universities
NIST-University of Maryland Conference to Highlight Women in Physics
NIST MEP Sets Up One-Stop Shop for Manufacturing-Related Research and Reports
Grants to Two States Will Support Improved Access to Services and Reduce Fraud
NIST Cybersecurity Framework
More ....
 Tools for you
Watch Company 
View Company Profile
Company web site
More news from this company
E-mail this story to a friend
Save Story
Search for suppliers of
Trade Associations

Home  |  My ThomasNet News®  |  Industry Market Trends®  |  Submit Release  |  Advertise  |  Contact News  |  About Us
Brought to you by        Browse ThomasNet Directory

Copyright © 2014 Thomas Publishing Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms of Use - Privacy Policy

Error close

Please enter a valid email address