... in self-assembly
Up to now, self-assembly has almost exclusively been applied to create nano-scale assemblies from molecules, nanoparticules or biological entities. There are however few examples of the application of self-assembly principles to the self-association and/or self-ordering of micrometer-to-millimeter range objects. HYDROMEL intends to extend that new effort towards technologically relevant examples. HYDROMEL will develop and optimise self-assembly and hierarchical self-assembly methods based on programmable forces for self-assembly of a range of mesoscale components at a variety of different substrates. Moreover, HYDROMEL will transfer the self-assembly technology to industries in order to enable future self-assembly process chains.
... in hybrid technologies (robot-assisted self-assembly and self-assembly-assisted robotics)
HYDROMEL will develop precise controlled hybrid handling solutions (gripping and feeding) for the controlled manipulation of self assembled meso-scale objects, methods for the determination of forces (down to nN) between two mesoparts, fast robotics for the placement of meso-scale objects close to configured surfaces, error correction and controlled positioning/alignment of these self assembled objects
HYDROMEL will also combine the two separated approaches for the handling of micro-objects: self-assembly will assist robotics-based micro-assembly by prepositioning microobjects in a massively parallel manner and by allowing gripping and releasing micro-objects with predefined attractors. The hybrid approach will therefore be the key for solving the biggest problem towards industrialisation of microproducts: controlling microhandling.