Described is an experimental procedure that enables high-power laser irradiation of microfabricated targets. Targets are brought to the laser focus by a closed feedback loop that operates between the target manipulator and a ranging sensor. The target fabrication process is explained in detail. Representative results of MeV-level proton beams generated by irradiation of 600 nm thick gold foils at a rate of 0.2 Hz are given. The method is compared with other replenishable target systems and the prospects of increasing the shot rates to above 10 Hz are discussed.