An automated testing system includes systems and methods to facilitate inline production testing of samples at a micro (multiple microns) or less scale with a mechanical testing instrument. In an example, the system includes a probe changing assembly for coupling and decoupling a probe of the instrument. The probe changing assembly includes a probe change unit configured to grasp one of a plurality of probes in a probe magazine and couple one of the probes with an instrument probe receptacle. An actuator is coupled with the probe change unit, and the actuator is configured to move and align the probe change unit with the probe magazine and the instrument probe receptacle. In another example, the automated testing system includes a multiple degree of freedom stage for aligning a sample testing location with the instrument. The stage includes a sample stage and a stage actuator assembly including translational and rotational actuators.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
This invention was made with government support under award number DE-SC0002722 awarded by the US Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in this invention.
This application is a U.S. National Stage Filing under 35 U.S.C. 371 from International Patent Application Serial No. PCT/US2012/024712, filed Feb. 10, 2012, and published on Aug. 16, 2012 as WO 2012/109577, which claims priority benefit of U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 61/441,511, filed Feb. 10, 2011, and U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 61/551,394, filed Oct. 25, 2011, all of which are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.
Nano and micron scale material testing.