Hexapod & Positioning Systems

Hexpods and Positioning Systems

A hexapod is a robotic manipulator capable of moving a payload in all six degrees of freedom:  lateral, longitudinal, and vertical translations as well as roll, pitch, and yaw rotations.  Motions can be made simultaneously in multiple axes or independently in a single axis while preventing movement in the others.  A hexapod’s parallel actuator arrangement provides high load capacity, stiffness, and accuracy compared to other robotic manipulator architectures.  Product models are distinguished by their actuation, sensing, control system, payload capacity, range, resolution, and bandwidth.  Hexapod applications can be divided into three primary categories:  precise positioning, motion simulation, and vibration isolation.   

Hexapods are needed for a wide variety of uses.  They can allow a payload, such as an optic or laser source, to be precisely aligned and oriented relative to another object even as thermal or other forms of drift continually create misalignment.  They can simulate road conditions for a vehicle suspension system eliminating costly field testing.  Hexapods can also isolate payloads, including cameras or sensitive measurement instruments, from ground vibrations or aircraft jitter that would otherwise result in image blur, measurement errors, or potential damage.  Other motion control devices can generally only provide positioning, motion simulation, or vibration isolation in one or two degrees of freedom, but hexapods are often the ideal solution when motion is required in three or more axes.

Our engineers at Moog CSA in Mountain View, California design and manufacture hexapods which require high precision, accuracy, wide bandwidth or operation in extreme environments, including vacuums.

Hexapod functions include:

  • Positioning and Pointing
  • Vibration Isolation
  • Motion Simulation

Vacuum-compatible hexapod for the James Web Space Telescope

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