Hexapods and Parallel Kinematics Positioning Systems FAQs

Hexapod positioners are often referred to as Stewart Platforms. A hexapod is based on a 6-axis (XYZ, Pitch, Roll, Yaw) actuator system arranged in parallel between a top and bottom platform. PI parallel kinematics (PKM) precision positioning systems have many advantages over serial kinematics stages, such as lower inertia, improved dynamics, smaller package size, and […]

Advances in Precision Motorized Positioning Systems: Selection Criteria

Motion drive and control technologies are advancing rapidly. This means engineers have access to an expanding spectrum of options to leverage previously unattainable performance and form factors. Rapidly evolving production processes have driven needs for motion control systems that provide higher accuracy, speed, resolution, and repeatability. The motion industry has responded with an expanding palette […]

Performance and Applications of Inertia Based Positioning Drives: Q-Motion

Size matters in miniaturization and automation – smaller is usually better. Traditional electromagnetic motors have limitations when it comes to shrinking dimensions while maintaining high efficiency and accuracy of motion with minimized energy consumption. Piezo ceramic inertia motors can fill this gap. The Q-Motion dubbed miniature direct drives can be employed in linear positioners, rotary […]

Kinematic Carrying Platform for an X-Ray Spectrometer: Q & A with Dr. Markus Simon

Dr. Markus Simon, head of the PI miCos beamline instrumentation group explains a special double hexapod PKM system designed for synchrotron x-ray spectroscopy, for complex material testing and analysis. An application of such a system in research can be found in this article on the Brookhaven National Laboratory’s Newsroom website: “Converting CO2 into Usable Energy“. […]

Different Methods of Full-Field X-Ray Diffraction Imaging with a Single Universal Instrument

Compact 6-Axis parallel precision manipulator with nanometer resolution helps the goal of designing a single universal instrument for the use in different full-field X-ray diffraction imaging methods. Modern methods of X-ray imaging allow micrometer accurate determination of crystal properties using diffraction contrast imaging methods. For example, the development of so-called diffraction laminography in recent years […]

“Micropositioning” – Classical Precision Positioning Technologies still Going Strong

Striking the right balance between affordability, accuracy, and reliability Traditional linear and rotary “micropositioning” stages are based on servo and stepper motor-driven leadcrews and ballscrews and mechanical bearings. They are classical components for precision motion control applications, spanning from lab-automation to industrial assembly and inspection. “Micropositioning” got its name from precision levels in the micrometer […]

Dental Biomechanics Research Based on Hexapod 6-Axis Platform

Hexapod motion and positioning platforms have traditionally been used in engineering, optics, and physics applications for their ability to provide precision motion in all degrees of freedom and flexibility based on a programmable center of rotation. As hexapods become more mainstream, applications expand into medical fields as well. Dental biomechanics deals with the interactions between […]

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 […]

Piezo Transducers, Actuators, and Motor Drive Solutions for Medical Engineering

Medical engineering and life-science disciplines have multi-faceted requirements for motion and positioning equipment: the spectrum spans from ultrasonic transducers to simple low-energy drive components to high-precision positioning systems and ultra-fast actuators for valve and pumping applications. Piezoceramic transducers and motor drives meet these needs and have a long track record of reliability and ruggedness in […]

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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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