Millimeter-Scale Robotic Mechanisms Using Carbon Nanotube Composite Structures

Smaller tools for robotic surgery will lead to reduced scarring and recovery times after surgery. However, the small-sized parts required for those tools are difficult to fabricate using conventional processes. In this paper, we demonstrate the fabrication of two potential tools for robotic surgery using a layered manufacturing process based on photolithography of carbon nanotube composite materials. Both tools fit into a cylinder with a 3 mm diameter, and both contain features with size on the order of 10 micrometers.