Manipulation, Positioning and Sensing at the Micro and Nano-Scales - miBot BT-14

The miBot is a unique piezo-based positioner with 4 degrees of freedom in an ultra compact and light body. Contrary to a standard manipulator, the miBot is a mobile robot. It is practically untethered and free to move over the surface of the base where the sample is placed. The miBot has no mounting screws and can thus be positioned by hand and it naturally adapts to the altering sample size and geometry.

The miBot travels along its natural axes and no translational or rotational motion are coupled. This allows it to become extremely intuitive to control and only few minutes of training is be needed by individuals in a lab before starting to get results. The miBot can be effortlessly used and also greatly contributes to decrease the risk of damaging the samples and provides confidence to perform delicate positioning maneuvers.

The miBot moves in two varied modes, providing scalable positioning resolutions from the micrometer to the nanometer. The piezoelectric actuators are operated with AC voltage in stepping mode. The range of displacements of the miBot is several centimeters with a resolution up to 40 nm. The position is maintained without applying any signal on the actuators. DC voltage is applied and maintained on the actuators with the amplitude defining the displacements in scanning mode. The range of displacements is a few hundreds of nanometers with a resolution up to the nanometer.

With its high stiffness feature, the miBot monolithic design makes this high precision instrument extremely robust to vibration and ensures that the motion is smooth even at high optical magnifications. Additionally, the small size of the miBot helps in providing improved thermal and mechanical stability than manipulators with a larger lever arm caused by their serial design.


  • Probe bigger samples with vibration free nanometer resolution motion
  • Decrease footprint of positioning instruments on the test bench or microscope
  • Protect investment over time with a versatile system designed for upgradability
  • Experiment faster while reducing the risk of damaging samples and attaining more results


  • Scalable positioning resolution (µm to nm)
  • Robust and compact design
  • Decoupled movements
  • Centimeter range displacements
  • Operates under high vacuum
  • Compatibility with multiple probes and tools


  • Micro/nano handling
  • Liquid dispensing
  • Electrical transport measurements
  • MEMS/NEMS testing
  • Local collection of light
  • SEM/TEM sample preparation
  • In situ material characterization

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