Motion Control & Drives


Hexapod ­positions loads in six axes

April 2014 Motion Control & Drives

PI (Physik Instrumente) has been a leading player in the market for precision positioning technology for many years. The release of the H-820 Hexapod unveils linear repeatability of 20 μm, and 200 μrad in the tip/tilt or rotational axes. Furthermore, the H-820 provides travel ranges of up to 100 mm (X & Y) and 50 mm in the Z axis, as well as rotational angles up to 60°. A load capacity of 20 kg and velocities of up to 20 mm/s can be achieved.

The H-820 Hexapod is not as precise as the well-proven high-end six axes systems from PI. But, with the performance characteristics of all its components perfectly tuned and selected for cost efficiency, the new Hexapod can be offered at a favourable price. The H-820 system also includes a powerful digital controller commanded via Ethernet. All target positions are conveniently given in Cartesian coordinates. Its price and performance make the H-820 particularly appealing for applications in industrial automation and manufacturing, or for research, e.g. in biotechnology.

Why parallel kinematics?

The Hexapod is driven by six high-resolution actuators, all connected directly to the same moving platform. This parallel-kinematic structure combines high system stiffness with a large clear aperture.

Because of the low mass of the moving platform, positioning operations can be performed with far lower settling times than with stacked multi-axis systems. In those systems, run-out and guiding errors, that have an impact on the dynamic properties of the individual axes, as well as friction and inertia of moving cables, all accumulate to limit the system’s accuracy and repeatability – problems which do not affect parallel-kinematic systems like the Hexapod.

For more information contact David Horne, Horne Technologies, +27 (0)76 563 2084, david@hornet.cc, www.hornet.cc


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