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A rigid-body motion generator based on an array of micromembrane actuators is described. Unlike previous microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) techniques, the architecture employs a large number (typically greater than 1000) of micron-sized (10–200 μm) membrane actuators to simultaneously generate the displacement of a large rigid body, such as a conventional optical mirror. For optical applications, the approach provides optical design freedom of MEMS mirrors by enabling large-aperture mirrors to be driven electrostatically by MEMS actuators. The micromembrane actuator arrays have been built using a stacked architecture similar to that employed in the Multiuser MEMS Process (MUMPS), and the motion transfer from the arrayed micron-sized actuators to macro-sized components was demonstrated. © 2004 American Institute of Physics.