PI Product Overview

Catalog Overview
Hexapod +3 Redundant Measuring Systems / Legs
Medical Robot with Highest Levels of Reliability
The extra legs contain redundant sensors which enable immediate corrective measures in the unlikely event of failure of the standard measuring systems.

PI's years-long experience with the development and production of 6-axis Hexapod micropositioning systems served as the basis for the next step: the Nonapod. What at first might seem just high-tech fun and games has, in fact, far greater significance. The three "extra" legs are not just there to complicate controller programming with overdetermination, but to increase reliability. The Hexapod system was developed for use as a medical robot — an application where reliability is of the essence.

General information on Hexapods

Operations cockpit and Hexapod with supplementary
M-521-linear positioner for extended travel.

Hexapod for medical applications.
Source: PI Movement & Positioning Newsletter, Summer 2000

Hexapod for Spine Surgery / Surgical Robot / Computer Aided Surgery
The Fraunhofer-Institut für Produktionstechnik und Automatisierung (IPA), Stuttgart, Germany, has realized the first functional prototype robot for spine surgery. The principal goals of the new technology are increased safety of micro-surgical procedures and feasibility of micro-therapy. An ideal mechanical solution was found in the PI M-850 Hexapod, a six-degree-of freedom parallel-kinematics micropositioning system. Providing higher stiffness, load capacity and accuracy in a smaller package than conventional "stacked" multi-axis positioners, the hexapod principle allows sub-micron precision even under high loads.

The hexapod which serves as modular platform for different instruments, such as endoscopes, is controlled by a cockpit similar to a flight simulator. The cockpit also enhances the surgeon's spatial understanding of the operation site, the endoscope's position and speed. IPA engineers consider this novel system the first step towards the ergonomic operating room of the future. Special thanks to Prof. Westkämper and Dr. Thomas Weisener of IPA for supplying the information and graphics.

General information on Hexapods
Source: PI Movement & Positioning Newsletter, Fall 1998