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A Quick Introduction to the Desirable Traits of a Hexapod

By Piezo Subscribe to RSS | May 29th 2012 | Views:
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Traditionally, micro-positioning systems have mainly comprised of stacked translation and rotation stages. However, there is a contemporary and technologically advanced device—the the hexapod—that offers far more precise results. This is a parallel kinematics system micro-positioning that offers six degrees of freedom. As a result, users can expect a higher degree of stiffness, better stability, higher load bearing capacities, lower inertia and several other advantages. Overall, this is a better system that the ones based on serial kinematics. Of course, these systems are simple to use, but they the advantages mostly end at this.

Today, hexapods play an important role in several applications such as nanotechnology, microscopy, astronomy, life sciences and medicine. Interestingly, these devices have proven to be a very handy tool in conducting surgeries as they provide a high degree of reliability and precision of the micron and nanometer level. Since it is more dynamic, a hexapod offers a much more flexible behavior. Many hexapods are fitted with cardanic joints that offer great load characteristics. And several others are equipped with flexure joints that are completely free of backlash.

In fact, there are devices such as the Hexapod+3 that features a higher number of legs (struts). This is a highly advanced medical robot that contains redundant sensors in its legs that help in taking corrective measures in case there is a failure in the standard measuring systems. A hexapod surgical robot equipped with an endoscope and phantom has been used with great results, as it can move in lateral, longitudinal and vertical position. At the same time, it can move in angular directions such as pitch, roll and yaw.

For vacuum and clean room applications, specially made hexapods are also available. Typically, these devices are available in cylindrical shape, however square or rectangular versions have also been used. They can be integrated into different types of production systems, as they help save time and increase speeds.

There are several other advantages of a hexapod that make it a preferred device in comparison with other serial kinematic devices:

Cumulative errors are eliminated as each actuator has an independent degree of movement. There are no undesirable traits such as the wobble effect or guiding errors

In hexapods, all the moving actuators act directly on the same moving platform. This results in a very dynamic behavior with increased stiffness so as to reduce load-shift induced flex.

Hexapods offer considerably reduced level of deviation as well as improved reliability.

Moreover, users can expect other advantages such as lower friction, a higher amount of reliability, lighter weights and greater repeatability.

Finally, another desirable trait shown by a hexapod is that positioning operations can be performed easily on it thanks to a low mass of the moving platform.

Piezo - About Author:
Technology has always fascinated the technician inside me. And writing about the latest in technologies and mechanisms in usage has been my forte over the last few years. Follow my write ups to know about the latest in technologies and mechanisms this season for one. This fall hexapods are very much in demand among the technical and mechanical industries across the world. Keep yourself updated on these products exclusively from USA.

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