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Design of a micro-autonomous robot for use in astronomical instruments

Cochrane, W.A. and Luo, Xichun and Lim, Tee and Taylor, W.D. and Schnetler, H. (2012) Design of a micro-autonomous robot for use in astronomical instruments. International Journal of Optomechatronics, 6 (3). pp. 199-212. ISSN 1559-9612

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A Micro-Autonomous Positioning System (MAPS) has been developed using micro-autonomous robots for the deployment of small mirrors within multi-object astronomical instruments for use on the next generation ground-based telescopes. The micro-autonomous robot is a two-wheel differential drive robot with a footprint of approximately 20 × 20 mm. The robot uses two brushless DC Smoovy motors with 125:1 planetary gearheads for positioning the mirror. This article describes the various elements of the overall system and in more detail the various robot designs. Also described in this article is the build and test of the most promising design, proving that micro-autonomous robot technology can be used in precision controlled applications.