Hexapod system

What is a hexapod?

A hexapod (lat. 'six-footer') is a system for motion control. Thanks to its six legs with adjustable length, movements can be simultaneously performed in three rotational and three linear axes (so-called parallel kinematics). As a result, a load or a workpiece, for example, can be positioned with very high precision. Hexapods are used in various industrial areas, including, among others, measurement technology. The bandwidth of the constructive design, parameters, etc., is very large.

    Exact calibration of a force sensor with the help of a hexapod.
    Exact calibration of a force sensor with the help of a hexapod.

    What role does a hexapod play in measurement technology?

    In measurement technology, a hexapod is used, in particular, for the calibration of force sensors and/or torque sensors, such as wheel force transducers. Two hexapods are usually used at a time: a movable one for the control and a rigid one as reference for the measurement values of the calibration. The control regulates forces and torques at a given reference point in the test item. The individual degrees of freedom can even be monitored as a mix of position or force.

    Where is a hexapod used?

    • As a workpiece carrier in machine tools
    • In vehicle and aircraft development as well as in railway technology (real motion simulators)
    • As a calibration bench in measurement technology
    • For precise positioning, e.g., for robotics and automation
    • In medical technology
    • In materials research
    • In the film industry as a motion platform