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Miniature Electromagnetically Controlled Assembler Robot Swarm: MECA-BOTS

Award Information

Department of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2012 / STTR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Arete Associates
1550 Crystal Drive Suite 703 Arlington, VA -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2012
Title: Miniature Electromagnetically Controlled Assembler Robot Swarm: MECA-BOTS
Agency: DOD
Contract: N00014-12-C-0560
Award Amount: $499,954.00


Arete Associates, in collaboration with the NanoRobotics Laboratory of Carnegie Mellon University, plans to design and demonstrate a desktop-sized assembly system utilizing a coordinated team of micro-robots. Called MECA-BOTS (Miniature Electromagnetically Controlled Assembler Robot Swarm), this system will be used to construct items and materials of interest to the Navy and the DoD. The micro-robots will operate in parallel to maneuver micro-scale components, thereby producing multi-functional materials and devices difficult or impossible to construct using conventional machining methods. Actuation of the untethered micro-robots will be through a combination of controlled electric and magnetic fields while operating within the assembly workspace. Coordination and control of the micro-robots in the swarm will be handled via a purpose-specific desktop computer system. Each micro-robot will have access to micro-tools and will have a set of simple tasks to accomplish with those tools. Each individual"s contribution to the assembly will be minimal, but by coordinating large numbers of micro-robots to work together, complex, smart material systems will be fabricated with unique properties and capabilities. By the end of the Phase II base, two dimensional assemblies are envisioned with full three-dimensional fabrication capabilities achieved after the option tasks have been completed.

Principal Investigator:

Steven Floyd
Staff Engineer
(703) 413-0290

Business Contact:

Doug DeProspo
Vice President
(703) 413-0290
Small Business Information at Submission:

Arete Associates
P.O. Box 2607 Winnetka, CA -

EIN/Tax ID: 952954108
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Research Institution Information:
Carnegie Mellon Unniversity
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-
Contact: Metin Sitti
Contact Phone: (412) 268-3632