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Overview

Hexapod Platforms and Systems

Parallel-Kinematic Machines of Six Motion Axes

  • Three linear axes, three rotational axes
  • Low moving net mass, low inertia
  • Identical dynamic behavior in all axes
  • High stiffness and small space requirement
  • Freely definable pivot point
  • Minimized axis crosstalk, very good repeatability
  • Application-optimized selection of drives
Hexapod

Applications

Hexapod systems have a decisive advantage over stacked single-axis systems: Since all drives act on the moving platform simultaneously (in parallel), the system has the same motion characteristics in all directions. This includes both the dynamic parameters and the accuracy. Positioning tasks such as the alignment of samples or sensors that have no preferential direction of motion clearly benefit from the parallel-kinematic principle.

For example, automated 6D alignment systems perform important tasks in the testing and manufacture of MEMS and photonics accessories. They include positioning and alignment of collimated fibers or assemblies. A precise alignment in several axes can also be important for heavy objects, such as for telescope mirrors or for inspection systems for large-sized LCD monitors.

Precise

Precision of Below one Micrometer

Especially semiconductor inspection or micro-assembly requires high-precision multi-axis positioners of high stiffness. A flexible selection of parallel-kinematic designs and drive concepts allows Hexapods from PI to meet almost all precision and size requirements.

  • Repeatability <0.5 µm in all axes
  • Smallest step sizes <0.5 µm in all axes

  • Scan algorithms for fiber optic alignment
Class*Linear Travel [mm]Rotation Range [°]Load [kg]Velocity [mm/s]Velocity [°/s]Motor / Drive
6-Axis Miniature Hexapod
Fast, Compact and Highly Precise
AAA

34 x 32 x 13

to 40to 510

15

Brushless DC motor
6-Axis Miniature Hexapod
High Precision in a Small Package
AAA40 x 40 x 13to 6052.53.5Brushless DC motor
6-Axis Precision Alignment System
Ideal for Fiber Alignment
AAA13.7 x 11.4 x 13.4to 131.510not specifiedDC servo motors
6-Axis Hexapod
For Loads of up to 250 kg
AAA

100 x 100 x 50

to 60to 250to 8to 3DC servo motor
UHV-Compatible Miniature Piezo Hexapod
High-Precision Positioning Even in Strong Magnetic Fields
AAA1.52

0.5

not specifiedPiezoWalk drive
HexapodAAA44 x 44 x 30to 25100.32DC servo motor
HexapodAAA100, 100, 100to 605021DC servo motor
Cost-Efficient

Low-Cost Hexapod Systems for Automation

Low-cost 6-axis systems can be used universally for positioning and scanning tasks. Their accuracies in the range of a few micrometers are frequently sufficient for the job to be performed in industrial production, for example for the alignment of workpieces or the positioning of samples in material research.

  • Optional PLC/CNC interface
  • Velocities of up to 50 mm/s

  • Min. incremental motion to 1 µm
Class*Linear Travel [mm]Rotation Range [°]Load [kg]Velocity [mm/s]Velocity [°/s]Motor / Drive
6-Axis Hexapod
High Velocity, Medium Load, Affordable
AAA100, 100, 50to 60to 30to 50to 17DC servo motor
6-Axis Positioner with Controller
Cost-Efficient Hexapod
AA100, 100, 2560202011DC servo motor
6-Axis Hexapod
Low-Profile, Precision Parallel-Kinematic System
AAA45, 45, 25to 25to 10103DC servo motors
6-Axis Precision Alignment System
Ideal for Fiber Alignment
AAA13.7 x 11.4 x 13.4to 131.510not specifiedDC servo motors
High Loads

High Loads from 100 kg to 2 Tons

Precise alignment of high loads is required in industrial production and in test installations, for example for large-sized LCD monitors or for positioning patients in medical technology for diagnostics or therapy. High precision is also required in the alignment of telescope mirrors in astronomy. Depending on the application, it may be necessary for the Hexapod to be mounted in any orientation – including, for example, upside down – to move the load precisely and to maintain it in a stable position.

  • Loads of up to 2 tons
  • Optional integrated brakes
  • Special testing device for operation in any orientation under load
Class*Linear Travel [mm]Rotation Range [°]Load [kg]Velocity [mm/s]Velocity [°/s]Motor / Drive
6-Axis Hexapod
For Loads of up to 250 kg
AAA

100 x 100 x 50

to 60to 250to 8to 3DC servo motor
High-Load Hexapod
High-Precision and Repeatable Positioning
AAA100, 100, 50to 60

500

0.30.2DC servo motor
High-Load Hexapod
Positioning 1 Ton with Micrometer Precision
AAA100, 100, 50to 601000101Brushless DC motor
1000 kg High-Load Hexapod
6 Axes, Large Travel Range, Accuracy in the Micrometer Range
AAA400, 400, 200to 4010001

Brushless DC motors
Vacuum-Compatible High-Load Hexapod
Precise Positioning of Loads of up to 1 Ton
AAA24, 24, 24to 810000.5

Brushless DC motors
HexapodAAA100, 100, 100to 605021DC servo motor
Weather-Resistant Hexapod for Astronomy
Precision 6-Axis Positioner for Outdoor Applications
AAA20, 22, 32

75

Brushless DC motors
Vacuum

Ultra-High Vacuum and Special Ambient Conditions

Research applications, for example in beamlines, require positioning systems designed for special ambient conditions. If the available installation space is small, but it is still necessary to position high loads in several motion axes, parallel-kinematic systems are the ideal choice. In this case, PI will rely on alternative, piezomotor drive principles, if necessary.

  • Standard versions for operation down to 10-9 hPa
  • Modifications for operation under strong magnetic fields

  • Modifications for operation at low temperatures
Class*Linear Travel [mm]Rotation Range [°]Load [kg]Velocity [mm/s]Velocity [°/s]Motor / Drive
Vacuum-Compatible High-Load Hexapod
Precise Positioning of Loads of up to 1 Ton
AAA24, 24, 24to 810000.5

Brushless DC motors
6-Axis Hexapod
Low-Profile, Precision Parallel-Kinematic System
AAA45, 45, 25to 25to 10103DC servo motors
6-Axis Hexapod
For Loads of up to 250 kg
AAA

100 x 100 x 50

to 60to 250to 8to 3DC servo motor
6-Axis Miniature Hexapod
Fast, Compact and Highly Precise
AAA

34 x 32 x 13

to 40to 510

15

Brushless DC motor
SpaceFABAAA

13 × 13 × 10

14 × 14 × 14105Inertia piezomotor
SpaceFABAAA50, 100, 12.7to 100.53010DC servo motor
SpaceFABAAA50, 50, 12.7to 100.15106Stepper motor
UHV-Compatible Miniature Piezo Hexapod
High-Precision Positioning Even in Strong Magnetic Fields
AAA1.52

0.5

not specifiedPiezoWalk drive
Dynamic

Dynamic Motion and Scanning

Motion simulators have higher motion dynamics requirements (shakers). They repeatedly perform defined motion cycles, for example for quality assurance and function monitoring of products in mobile use.

  • Alternative direct magnetic drives for high accelerations
  • High motion repeatability in the range of a few micrometers

  • Operating frequencies of >100 Hz for small strokes
Class*Linear Travel [mm]Rotation Range [°]Load [kg]Velocity [mm/s]Velocity [°/s]Motor / Drive
6-Axis Positioner with Controller
Cost-Efficient Hexapod
AA100, 100, 2560202011DC servo motor
6-Axis Motion Hexapod
Fast and Compact for High Dynamics Applications

AAA

17; 16; 6,510; 10; 212518.6

Brushless motor

Hex-Art-Pod

Hex-Art-Pod

Add color to your application and give your lab a personal touch! For the H-820 Hex-Art-Pod, each strut sleeve has its own design, making each Hex-Art-Pod unique.

PI H-820 Hex-Art-Pod
  • Variants that support social projects
  • Customized designs are also available
Contact PI

Find Your Office or email to info@pi.ws

SpaceFAB

SpaceFAB: Large Planar Travel Ranges in Low-Profile Design

The SpaceFAB design is based on a combination of linear positioning stages and can be quickly and easily adapted to customer specifications in terms of installation space or travel range. This makes 6-axis systems suitable for almost any precision application, from mini-positioners for UHV chambers to integration into production processes of long loading and unloading axes.

  • Vacuum-compatible versions to 10-10 hPa on request
  • Modular design, resulting in travel ranges adjustable over a wide range

  • Flexible selection of the drive as a function of the application
Class*Linear Travel [mm]Rotation Range [°]Load [kg]Velocity [mm/s]Velocity [°/s]Motor / Drive
SpaceFABAAA13 × 13 × 1012 × 12 × 12105PiezoWalk drive
SpaceFABAAA50, 100, 12.7to 100.53010DC servo motor
SpaceFABAAA50, 50, 12.7to 100.15106Stepper motor
SpaceFABAAA

13 × 13 × 10

14 × 14 × 14105Inertia piezomotor
Motion Control

Coordinated Motion Control and Adaptable Software

The control of parallel kinematics is more complex than the control of serially stacked axes. It requires transforming the desired motion of the load from the motion of the individual actuators. Hexapods and SpaceFab systems are delivered with a digital high-performance motion controller, which allows direct start-up and motion commands in Cartesian coordinates.

  • Comprehensive software package included, freely programmable virtual pivot point
  • Stand-alone operation possible or control with TCP/IP and RS‑232, optional EtherCAT interface

  • Optional motion controller from Delta Tau, all cables required for operation included
Controller for Hexapod Positioning Systems
6-D Vector Motion Control, Comprehensive Functionality
Hexapod Control with EtherCAT®
Motion Controller with Automation Interface for Six-Axis Positioning Systems
*   AAA   Reference class
  AA Precision class
  A Standard class
Technology