PI is now offering a large selection of high-accuracy Hexapod 6-D Micropositioners -- ideal for precision alignment & handling from fibers to MEMS to heavy optics. Vacuum compatibility; very high stiffness; virtual pivot point and powerful software allow faster and more precise 6-D nanoalignments.
One example is the F-206 HexAlign Hexapod System with Digital Controller. PI's Hexapod controllers perform sophisticated six-space coordinate transformations and path planning internally, automatically. This makes the systems very easy to use, as the unit speaks in terms of familiar X,Y,Z, Theta_X , Theta_Y, Theta_Z coordinates with millimeter and degree units (4-decimal-place precision).
The F-206 Hexapod is considerably more compact and accurate than conventional multi-axis stage stacks. Its parallel kinematics design and powerful, all-digital 6D controller has a vector based design. The constant length struts and flexures allow for higher precision than conventional cardanic joints.
Orthogonality and crosstalk issues, which can be a formidable assembly and service concern for stacked multi-axis units, do not affect parallel-kinematics systems. There are none of the servo-tuning and dynamic setup procedures necessitated by the widely varying effective loads on individual stages in a stacked assembly. The F-206 is truly a plug-and- play motion system that requires no servo adjustment or tuning. Its operation is fast and crisp, with uniform dynamics, regardless of the direction of motion. There are no moving cables to limit repeatability with friction and no cable management issues to be resolved when integrating the unit.