Hexapods, or parallel kinematics positioning systems, can move masses of 50, 200 or even 1000 kg with micron accuracy such as that required in medical applications. These Hexapod systems are all built with six high-resolution electro-mechanical or piezoelectric actuators all acting on a common platform. It is the familiar flight simulator design, but considerably more precise: in place of hydraulic cylinders, the Hexapods are driven by accurate, precision-controlled rotary or linear motors.
Different drive principles are employed, depending on the application: Hexapods with NEXLINE® drives make a positioning system that is vacuum compatible and non-magnetic.
These Hexapod systems include a controller that lets you set a pivot point anywhere inside or outside the Hexapod working space. The freely definable pivot point stays with the platform, no matter how it moves. Moves are specified in Cartesian coordinates and the PC-based controller transforms them into the required motion-vectors for the individual actuator drives.
The miniature hexapod system delivers more than 10 lb of force and motion in all six degrees of freedom. This 6-axis robot can be used for manufacturing and part placement that requires high precision for microscopy applications or laser and optical alignment. Its size is 10 cm in diameter and 11.8 cm in height. Minimum incremental motion is 0.2 microns (40 nm resolution). Travel ranges to 40 mm linear and 60° (rotation). Velocity is 10 mm/s.
PI (Physik Instrumente)
Filed Under: Medical, Motion control • motor controls, Mechatronics