In honor of the upcoming Opening Day in Major League Baseball, we have produced micron scale baseball players out of silicon, and SRI has assembled them together, passing along a 10 mm diameter polystyrene baseball.
Under the DARPA A2P program, Zyvex Labs has been with SRI, Inc. to develop a method to fabricate and assemble miniature electronic components. Zyvex Labs uses its cutting edge patterning and processing technologies to fabricate stand-alone components such as plasmonic sensors, passive electronic components, or even qubit based devices, all with a form factor of approximately 10 mm x 10 mm x 1 mm. After passing the parts along, SRI uses its magnetically levitated robots to pick and place the parts with high speed and accuracy.
While it might be more effective baseball strategy to throw instead of to hand the ball to a teammate, the technology required to pick and place micron scale parts with a variety of functions and materials will enable new systems previously impossible to build. For example, III/V materials, gold optical components, and NEMS sensors might be integrated with CMOS devices, all in a single micron-scale system.