Assessing material properties on the micro and nanoscale requires appropriate tools and measurement systems. Micro- and nanorobotic systems allow for such investigations. This contribution represents a case study in this respect. A setup capable of compressing single fibres with force feedback under scanning electron microscopy observation is presented and used. Variations in the compression force during testing of single fibres are reported and analysed. It is shown that significant alterations of the fibre wall mechanical properties are already introduced during testing one fibre several times in the transverse direction. Although hornification is generally used in the context of changes on the fibre wall due to drying and rewetting cycles of fibres or paper, it is suggested to expand the term also on changes induced by mechanical treatment, as the outcome could be similar. Furthermore, a microrobotic method and a system are proposed which will allow simulating the mechanical hornification and which are based on a force generating apparatus.