Papers Sought for Special Journal Issue on Microscale Mechanisms and Robots

Feb. 24, 2017

The ASME Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics is currently soliciting technical papers for a special issue that will focus on microscale mechanisms and robots. Papers for this special journal issue, which is expected to be published online this summer, should be submitted by April 10.

The idea of microrobots with capabilities similar to their insect counterparts has captivated the robotics and microsystems communities for more than 20 years. Survivors after an earthquake could be found faster if robotic bugs could target the efforts of first responders. Robotic surgery can be enhanced by injected robots or robotic systems at the end of a catheter. Ants and termites build impressive structures and microrobots could be used to manufacture large structures in a similar fashion.

Building microrobots is a long-term challenge that will require a number of scientific and technical advances. For example, because microscale mechanisms are required to interface with the world, microactuators might be required to drive these mechanisms, and microscale sensors and controllers will be necessary depending on the application. Impressive demonstrations to date of this technology include flying robots the size of a bee, microscale magnetic manipulation for medical applications, compliant mechanism design at small scales, and terrestrial robots the size of ants. However, there is still much work to be done to solve these numerous challenges.


This special issue of the Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics is intended to be a collection of papers that address the challenges inherent in the mechanics, design, fabrication, and application of microscale mechanisms and microrobots. Approaches can focus on microscale mechanisms, including design, fabrication, novel materials, and modeling. Papers can also focus on relevant subcomponents of a microrobotic system, but should address some aspect of the mechanics or design of these subcomponents. In addition, papers that address integration of these components into mechanical systems at small scales or include lessons learned in both modeling and/or applications are welcome.

The guest editors for the special issue on Microscale Mechanisms and Robots are Sarah Bergbreiter, Associate Professor at the University of Maryland; Larry Howell, Professor and Associate Dean at Brigham Young University; and Robert J. Wood, the Charles River Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University.

Papers should be submitted electronically by April 10 through the ASME Journals Digital Submission Site. Authors should choose “Mechanisms and Robotics” after logging in, and then select “Microscale Mechanisms and Robots” in the special issue dropdown menu. Reviews of the submitted papers are expected to be completed by the guest editors by May 8, and authors should be notified of whether their papers have been accepted by May 15. Final drafts of all accepted papers are due July 10.

For more information on the ASME Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics, visit To learn more about the ASME Journals Program, visit