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Significant demand for both accuracy and productivity in batch manipulation of microparticles highlights the need to develop an automatic arraying approach to placing groups of particles into a predefined array with right pairs. This paper presents our latest effort to achieve this objective using integrated robotics and holographic optical tweezers technologies, where holographic optical tweezers function as special robot end-effectors to manipulate the microparticles. Based on the physical dynamics of trapping, a potential-field-based controller is developed to drive every pair of particles to the assigned array, while preventing collisions between particles. The significance of the proposed controller lies in the capability of driving two groups of particles into a common array in right pair and controlling the interdistances between the particles in pairs. Experiments are performed to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach.
Date of Publication: Oct. 2012