Micromanipulation

Workshop with Benjamin Maus

DM.B-MA-2 (MG) Spezielle Gebiete der Digitalen Medien (MG)
Dates: 22.02.2018 – 24.02.2018 and 26.02.2018 – 02.03.2018 (10h – 18h)
Registration via mail: warum@allesblinkt.com

Human’s thing is to manipulate things. It allowed us to conquer and transform the planet beyond recognition. Humans manipulate most things that exist on earth: matter, animals, plants, natural processes and about everything that is above or below ground. Excluded from this are things that are economically not viable or of no interest to science (yet). A lot of times being small or very big saves things from being manipulated unless there is a specific interest (like quantum computing, cancer research, communications in space).

In this course, I want to explore with you different practical techniques of manipulating things that are too tiny to see. The result of this manipulation has to be sensed in order to control the manipulation and see the result. This can happen either by microscopy or very sensitive sensors returning values. Common approaches for this kind of task are micromanipulators made from piezo-electric crystals, mechanics with no moving parts (flexures/living hinges) and clever use of materials to create precision from not so precise shapes.

The main goal of this course, however, is not just about proving that small things can be manipulated, but to think what implications it has if it was common to manipulate small things – animate or inanimate.

Four weeks before the start of the course, I will ask you to already start a short research phase. Basic building kits for making a low-cost, yet very precise piezo actuator, tiny sensors and cheap microscopes will be provided.