Micro-nanorobotics pays tribute to David Bowie and sets a World Record

Robotics and 3D printing pave the way of new methodologies for the future of industries, but can also be used for original artistic projects including technological challenges. Imagine a film studio smaller than the size of your finger, an actor whose height is smaller than the thickness of your fingernail, and a camera using electrons in spite of photons: these are the filming conditions of the innovative filmStardust Odysseydone in FEMTO-ST.


The objective of this film project was to illustrate, in an original way, the capabilities of robotics & 3D printing in microscale. The challenge was to realize a stop motion film with the smallest 3D figurines whose height is lower than 300µm. It requires to design and produce the microfigurines and also to position them with a micrometric precision in front of an imager. The production of the microfigure with a 2-photons 3D printer has been done in Université Libre de Bruxelles. At this scale, the best way to visualize tridimensional object is the Scanning Electronic Microscope (SEM) operating in a vacuum chamber requiring microfigurines metallization. In order to position figurines in front of the imager, high precision miniaturized robots working in vacuum and developed in FEMTO-ST institute have been used. Each key technology has required ad-hoc developments to build the film.


The film co-produced by the Université de Franche-Comté (UFC), the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and the film-maker Tibo Pinsard (Darrowan Prod), has been released on November 20th, 2019, online on stardust-odyssey.com. The film paying tribute to David Bowie consists in a Guinness Book World record: the stop motion film with the smallest 3D figurines in the world.

Website: www.stardust-odyssey.com