Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Microscopic Chess Anyone? How About Nanoscale Barber? 'Can Do' Says Sandia Natl. Lab

Micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) prizes were awarded to Texas Tech and the University of of Utah in Sandia Natl. Lab microdevice competition. Look for more novel MEMS devices to emerge for applications ranging from "soup to nuts" over the rest of the decade. R.C.J.

Here's what Sanda National Labs says about its annual MEMS challenge: The world’s smallest chess board — about the diameter of four human hairs — and a pea-sized microbarbershop were winners in this year’s design contest for, respectively, novel and educational microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), held at Sandia National Laboratories in mid May. The two winning teams will see their designs birthed in Sandia’s microfabrication facility, one of the most advanced in the world. The micro chess board, created by students at Texas Tech, comes with micropieces scored with the design of traditional chess figures. Each piece is outfitted with even tinier stubs that allow a microrobotic arm to move them from square to square. Space along the side of the board is available to hold captured pieces. The microbarbershop, intended to service a single hair, employs a microgripper, cutter, moveable mirror and blow dryer designed by students at the University of Utah...
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