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Micro Delta: Fast and highly precise robot system

The Micro Delta project aimed at developing a fast and highly precise robot system. The robot was designed to significantly outperform the precision and speed of current systems and to be cost-effective at the same time.

Two nearly identical kinematics were implemented: one with servo motors and harmonic drive gear and one with gearless drive kinematics.

In a further step, a highly integrated force/momentum measurement system enabling the implementation of force controlled tasks was engineered. Its controller is JAVA based and thus allows implementing highly complex algorithms.

Technical requirements

Operating range

  • x-direction minimum 0.1 m (ca. 0.15 m)
  • y-direction minimum 0.1 m (ca. 0.15 m)
  • z-direction minimum 0.05 m (ca. 0.08 m)
  • phi-z-angle +/- 2p


  • 0.5 m x 0.5 m x 0.5 m (0.3 m x 0.3 m x 0.3 m)

Speed and acceleration

  • Pulse min. 5 cycles per second
  • Each position must be reachable from the center of the operating area within 0.1s
  • Goal: 0.1m in 0.1s

Actual load

  • Min. 0.25 kg incl. gripper (requested 0.5 kg), for fast movements 0.1 kg.


  • Highest precision requested only for slow movements
  • Resolution 0.0001 mm, 1 mrad
  • Position adjustment 0.001 mm, 100 mrad
  • Repeat accuracy 0.002 mm, 200 mrad
  • Absolute accuracy 0.1 mm, 10 mrad


  • 4 servo axes
  • Possibility of complex control
  • Sampling rate down to 0.1 ms
  • Java based

Micro Delta in action:

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Contact IMS:

Prof. Dr. Ruprecht Altenburger

Prof. Dr. Ruprecht Altenburger

ZHAW School of Engineering
Forschungsschwerpunkt Control Engineering & Advanced Control
Technikumstrasse 9
8400 Winterthur

+41 (0) 58 934 77 83