Mechanisms with dexterous manipulation capabilities are needed for many applications at the meso scale (1–5 mm diameter with micro scale features). Scaling down larger designs has proven to be impossible in many cases, and the manipulation forces produced by most existing meso scale designs are notably insufficient for intended applications. A review of articulating mechanisms and manipulator technologies developed within the last decade is presented, and the potential for these technologies to be implemented at the meso scale is explored. The utility of these systems is analyzed in terms of two main performance metrics: maximum range of motion and force application. Determining the miniaturization potential and performance capabilities of these mechanisms has highlighted necessary improvements for current systems and provided insight on which system types are most likely to be effective on the meso scale.

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