Category: Multi-Axis Motion

Hexapod Robots in Automotive Applications

As the precision requirements in the automotive industry are increasing, the need for advanced robotics arises. Traditional robots are fast, can handle heavy loads, but lack positioning accuracy. Hexapod robots have a long history in precision alignment & micro-manufacturing automation, but were considered too precise for the automotive industry. The situation is rapidly changing. Modern […]

Hexapod in Proof of Concept for High-Speed Interstellar Travel with Directed Energy

The velocity of present-day spacecraft may seem galactic in contrast to what humans experience in their daily commutes involving even the fastest trains, planes or automobiles. However, compared to the warp-drive performance known from science fiction classics such as Star Trek and Star Wars, space travel in the early 21th century still moves at a […]

Air Bearings are Critical in CMM and Metrology Applications

Air bearings have played a crucial role in the development and construction of coordinate measuring machines (CMMs) and other metrology tools for decades. Since they are inherently frictionless and highly stable, air bearings play a key role in delivering the precision required in metrology equipment. Performance criteria, such as repeatability and minimized error motions, geometric […]

Precision Robotics and Automation: Hexapods Advance Production Processes

Summary Hexapods, six-legged parallel-kinematic machines, are quickly gaining ground in a broad range of industrial automation applications after “learning” how to directly communicate with PLC or CNC controllers via fieldbus interfaces. As far as the semiconductor and electronics industry, automobile industry, and precision assembly are concerned, many production processes have become inconceivable without them. Today, […]

6-Axis Parallel Kinematics for UHV Alignment and Active Vibration Cancellation for Semiconductor Applications

Inspection tools in the semiconductor industry, laser alignment and adjustment tools for the next generation of extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUVL) require highly accurate motion, often in all 6 degrees of freedom. Parallel kinematics structures provide an elegant and highly flexible way to achieve precise multi-axis motion. Different designs have found successful applications in 6D precision […]

Hexapod 6-Axis Alignment System Provides Flexibility in Dimensional Measuring Machine in Automotive Applications

The ever higher demand on the performance of headlights in automobiles drives automation and precision requirements of suppliers. A novel compact dimensional measuring machine designed by the DYMACO Group now makes use of 6-axis parallel positioning and alignment system to provide more flexibility for in-line automated dimensional measuring of headlamps in the Automotive Industry. The […]

50 Hexapod 6-DOF Alignment Systems for the Sub-Reflectors of ALMA, the Largest Telescope Project in the World

The ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter Array) observatory is the largest and most advanced astronomical telescope system in the world. ALMA is not a classical optical telescope but a combination of up to 66 radio-telescope dishes receiving electromagnetic radiation at millimeter and sub-millimeter wavelength. ┬áThe combination of many antennas, spread out over a large area, has […]

Self-Locking Actuator for Hexapod Applications Combines High Push-Pull Force with Picometer Resolution for Active Optical Alignment in Astronomy

1. Introduction Astronomical telescopes usually employ active position control for primary mirror surfaces using motorized mechanical actuators. The motion needed is generally quasistatic, to compensate gravitational and thermal effects. Another application for precision actuators within the telescope at a significantly faster motion response is the high speed tip/tilt control of a secondary or tertiary mirror. […]

High Load Hexapod Test and Assembly

Testing and Qualifying Positioning Systems for Multi-Ton Loads The nano- and micro world is not limited to microscopic loads. Optics in astronomical telescopes and semiconductor lithography equipment are getting larger and heavier, while alignment tolerances that need to be met are getting tighter. Hexapod parallel-kinematic motion and positioning systems are often used in multi-axis alignment […]

PI Hexapod chosen for LISA Pathfinder Space Mission

On December 3, 2015, the European Space Agency (ESA) launched the LISA Pathfinder spacecraft, marking the birth of the next phase of an incredible project that will one day help scientists look at the structure of galaxies and our early universe. We might even get a preview into the structure and nature of space-time itself. […]

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About PI

PI (Physik Instrumente) is a leading manufacturer of precision motion control equipment, piezo motors, air bearing stages and hexapod parallel-kinematics for semiconductor applications, photonics, bio-nano-technology and medical engineering. PI has been developing and manufacturing standard & custom precision products with piezoceramic and electromagnetic drives for 4 decades. The company has been ISO 9001 certified since 1994 and provides innovative, high-quality solutions for OEM and research. PI is present worldwide with fifteen subsidiaries, R&D / engineering on 3 continents and total staff of more than 1,000.

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