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

William Cochrane, Xichun Luo, Theodore Lim, William Taylor, Hermine Schnetler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


A Micro-Autonomous Positioning System (MAPS) has been developed using microautonomous 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 20x20 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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-212
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Optomechatronics
Issue number3
Early online date6 Aug 2012
Publication statusPublished - 6 Aug 2012


  • micro-autonomous robots,
  • multi-object instrumentation


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