Starbugs: all-singing, all-dancing fibre positioning robots

  title={Starbugs: all-singing, all-dancing fibre positioning robots},
  author={James Gilbert and Michael Goodwin and J. A. C. Heijmans and Rolf Muller and Stan Miziarski and Jurek Brzeski and Lew G. Waller and Will J. Saunders and Alex Bennet and Julia Tims},
  booktitle={Other Conferences},
Starbugs are miniature piezoelectric 'walking' robots with the ability to simultaneously position many optical fibres across a telescope's focal plane. Their simple design incorporates two piezoceramic tubes to form a pair of concentric 'legs' capable of taking individual steps of a few microns, yet with the capacity to move a payload several millimetres per second. The Australian Astronomical Observatory has developed this technology to enable fast and accurate field reconfigurations without… 

Starbug fibre positioning robots: performance and reliability enhancements

The new design features of the AAO TAIPAN Starbug are presented, addressing: connector density and voltage limitations, mechanical reliability and construction repeatability, field plate residues and scratching, metrology stability, and facilitation of improved motion in all aspects of the design for later evaluation.

Miniaturized Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensors for starbugs

The Australian Astronomical Observatory has prototyped a compact and lightweight Shack-Hartmann wavefront-sensor that fits into a standard Starbug parallel fibre positioning robot that makes use of a polymer coherent fibre imaging bundle to relay an image produced by a microlens array placed at the telescope focal plane to a re-imaging camera mounted elsewhere.

Beating the heat! automated characterization of piezoelectric tubes for Starbugs

The various design aspects of the automation system are presented and analyses of example piezoelectric tubes for Starbugs are provided and the design of an automated LabVIEW application that significantly reduces test times to several minutes is solved.

TAIPAN instrument fibre positioner and Starbug robots: engineering overview

An engineering overview of the UKST upgrade of the completely new Instrument Spider Assembly utilized to support the Starbug Fibre Positioning Robot and current status of the Starbugs itself is presented.

Field target allocation and routing algorithms for Starbugs

The aim is to optimise the target allocation and routing algorithms to provide the fastest configurations times for TAIPAN, a prototype for MANIFEST on the GMT (Giant Magellan Telescope).

The MANIFEST fibre positioning system for the Giant Magellan Telescope

MANIFEST is a fibre feed system for the Giant Magellan Telescope that, coupled to the seeing-limited instruments GMACS and G-CLEF, offers qualitative and quantitative gains over each instrument’s

Hoverboards: focal plane positioner for large-sized payloads

The ability to simultaneously position many ‘large’ payloads over the focal surface overcomes some of the potential barriers faced by future Extremely Large Telescopes. These devices, called

Miniaturized Shack-Hartmann Wavefront-Sensors for ELTs

The miniaturization of wavefront sensors overcomes some of the potential barriers faced by ELTs in implementing large- scale multi-object adaptive optics over large focal surfaces. The Australian

Robotic Fiber Positioning Systems for Massive Spectroscopic Surveys: Mechanical Design Guidelines and Technological Opportunities

The technology of fiber positioning robots has been evolving in the recent years and currently lacks of a comprehensive view. This thesis aims at filling this gap. Fiber positioning robots are

Hoverboards: Smart focal plane positioners for adaptive optics ELTs

The ability to simultaneously position ‘large’ payloads over the focal surface overcomes some of the potential barriers faced by ELTs in implementing multi-object adaptive optics. The Australian



Starbugs: focal plane fiber positioning technology

We report on the technological achievements of our latest Starbug prototypes and their implications for smart focal plane fiber positioning applications for wide-field astronomy. The Starbugs are

Starbug: enabling the smart focal plane

A new robotic system for positioning payloads such as pickoff mirrors, fibres or deployable IFUs on telescope focal planes based on a combination of concepts used in existing fibre positioning systems, which employs micro-robotic actuators to independently and simultaneously position an arbitrary number of small payloads accurately on an arbitrarily large field plate.

Concepts for multi-IFU robotic positioning systems

Following the successful commissioning of SAMI (Sydney-AAO Multi-object IFU) the AAO has undertaken concept studies leading to a design of a new instrument for the AAT (Hector). It will use an

It's alive! Performance and control of prototype Starbug actuators

As part of the Starbug development, a range of actuator technologies have been prototyped and trialled in the quest to develop this novel focal plane positioning system. The Starbug concept is a

The performance of OzPoz, a multi-fiber positioner on the VLT

OzPoz is a multi-fiber positioner to feed spectrographs from a Nasmyth focus of VLT Unit Telescope 2. The concept follows that of the 2dF system on the AAT: a robot re-positions magnetically attached

The Anglo-Australian Observatory 2dF facility

The 2dF (Two-degree Field) facility at the prime focus of the Anglo-Australian Telescope provides multiple-object spectroscopy over a 2° field of view. Up to 400 target fibres can be independently

Deployable payloads with Starbug

Deployable payloads are conceive of as components of systems more traditionally regarded as part of telescope systems rather than instruments - such as adaptive optics and ADCs, along with image relays and deployable active sensors.

MANIFEST instrument concept and related technologies

The Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO) has recently completed a feasibility study for a fiber-positioner facility proposed for the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT), called MANIFEST (the Many

The instrument development and selection process for the Giant Magellan Telescope

The Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) is a 25.4-m optical/infrared telescope constructed from seven 8.4-m primary mirror segments. The collecting area is equivalent to a 21.6-m filled aperture. The