Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : This paper describes the study of a gripper using the surface tension effects to pick and place the 0.5mm or 0.3mm diameter balls of a millimetric watch bearing. Two liquid supply strategies have been tested (pressure drive and tip dip). The effects of the coating (through the measurement of the contact angles), the presence of an internal channel and the size of the gripper have been studied. Analytical and numerical force models have been developped and validated thanks to a test bed allowing the measurement of the developped force (typically of the order of 100μN) with a resolution of 1μN. A complete pick and place cycle has been performed using the 0.5mm diameter gripper. Such a test has still to be done in the future with the 0.3mm diameter gripper. © 2006 International Federation for Information Processing.