X-ray Diffraction, Microwave Antenna Test-Beds, Surgical Robots, Positioning of Optics, Electron Guns, Lasers, or other Energy Sources, Positioning of Mirrors in Astronomical Telescopes, Semiconductor Handling Systems, Tool Control for Precision-machining & Manufacturing, Fine-Positioning of Active Secondary Mirror Platforms in High Resolution Telescopes
The M-850 Hexapod 6-axis stage consists of six struts which expand and contract between a bottom and a top platform. Although similar to positioning systems used in flight-simulators, it is the first commercially available system to introduce this technique to sub-micron resolution positioning systems.
The use of extremely stiff and accurate components for all moving parts such as joints, bearings and drive screws results in an unusually high natural frequency (500 Hz @ 10 kg load). The Hexapod principle requires all six struts to alter their length if a change of the platform in only one axis is desired. On the other hand, if only one strut alters its length, all six coordinates (X, Y, Z, QX, QY, QZ) will be affected. This is the challenge in the Hexapod construction. The twelve multi-degree-of-freedom joints must guarantee guiding precision and zero backlash. Therefore, CAD (Computer Aided Design), FEA (Finite Element Analysis) modeling, and laser vibrometry were employed for system optimization.