LabCom_2022 - V2 - Laboratoires communs organismes de recherche publics – PME/ETI - Edition 2022 - Vague 2

nano positionning robot – NanoLab

Submission summary

The Nanolab LabCom aims to develop a new generation of positioning robots. The applications concerned by this type of robot are numerous in industry: qualification bench for inertial sensors, integration of nano-optical systems, adjustment/qualification of very high-resolution CCD sensors, and the semiconductor market. In the medical field, positioning robots are used as surgical tools for operations on the brain or the eye. In science, they are integrated into large instruments (telescopes, synchrotrons, etc.).
This LabCom brings together researchers and engineers from the LCM (Laboratoire commun de métrologie attached to the Conservatoire national des arts et métiers CNAM) and from Symétrie company (an SME based in Nîmes). The LabCom is taking place in a tense economic and industrial context where competition is established and where competitiveness is therefore vital. Currently, the precision achieved by the robots is in the order of micrometres for translations and microradians for orientations. These performances are achieved at low speeds (1mm/s) and for low loads (in the order of kilogram). The objective of the Nanolab LabCom is to improve these performances.
To achieve these objectives, the Nanolab LabCom has chosen to combine metrology and robotics. Indeed, only the methods and tools developed in metrology allow to reach these performances. The LCM is at the forefront of research in the field of very high accuracy instrumental development. This knowledge has been built up through the creation of several world-class instruments: reference cylindricity measuring machine, angular reference, metrological AFM, Lampard cylinder measuring machine, Kibble balance, etc.
LabCom is structured around two research axes: the first is directed towards the development of a new positioning system that will enable record performance to be achieved. To achieve this goal, it will be necessary to design an original machine architecture that integrates both the industrial experience in robotics of the Symmetry company (architecture, correction model, control, design, production of robots, etc.) and the metrology concepts specific to the LCM (metrological chain, Abbe principle, spatial and temporal redundancy, dissociated metrology, metrological link, etc.). From this first architecture, a prototype will be produced and then qualified. Eventually, the aim will be to add a new very high-performance positioner to Symmetry's catalogue.
The second line of research focuses on the problem of high accuracy six degrees of freedom (6DOF) long stroke measurement. This type of measurement would enable the position of a robot's end device to be controlled with uncertainties of the order of 10 nm despite external constraints (strong temperature variations, significant variations in force). In addition to the above-mentioned positioning applications, this type of performance would represent a major advance in related fields concerned with very high precision positioning: measuring machines, production machines, optical systems. For Symmetry, such a system would be an undeniable asset for qualifying its robots at the highest level in terms of uncertainty.
The scientific spin-offs of the LabCom will concern advances in dimensional metrology, but more particularly (i) parallel structure architectures and their metrological chains, (ii) the development of non-contact optical measurement methods (iii) calibration methods. The economic benefits will be reflected in a sustainable increase in Symmetry's commercial activities thanks to the opening of new markets.

Project coordination

alain vissiere (Vissière Alain)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


LCM Vissière Alain

Help of the ANR 363,000 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: January 2023 - 54 Months

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