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The patent-pending Hybrid Hexapod, from ALIO Industries, is a parallel


kinematic tripod providing Z, pitch and


roll motion combined with serial XY and rotary stages to provide a complete six


degree of freedom motion system. This motion system meets the nanometer- level precision and repeatability, ultra-smooth motion, and platform


stiffness needs of the most demanding six degree of freedom motion applications. The Hybrid Hexapod is the ideal motion system for laser processing, optical inspection, photonics, semiconductor


metrology and medical device or other micro machining applications.


A


dvancement in technology ranging from the design and manufacturing of next generation consumer electronics to more efficient and reliable


manufacturing processes to improved metrology sensors continually drives the need for motion control systems that provide higher accuracy, improved repeatability, and better geometric (i.e. three-dimensional) performance. In complex applications where high precision six degree of freedom of motion is required (i.e X, Y, Z, pitch, yaw, roll) the hexapod is commonly used for its known benefits of compact size and reduced error relative to serial stacked stages. While commonly used for their publicised benefits, hexapods are not without their weaknesses that can directly limit the level of precision that can be attained.


The presented Hybrid Hexapod system is an innovative motion system that does not just improve on existing hexapod technology, but completely eliminates inherent weaknesses of the traditional hexapod concept. As a result, the Hybrid Hexapod achieves nanometer level performance with respect to accuracy, repeatability and geometric three-dimensional performance. Currently, there is a void in industry where hexapods have reached their performance limitations, but complex motion system needs have not stopped advancing — the Hybrid Hexapod fills this void.


Traditional Hexapod Background Hexapods, also known as Stewart platforms or parallel kinematic manipulators (PKM), are devices where six links or actuators (that extend and retract) join a stationary bottom plate with a top plate that performs coordinated motion in six degrees of freedom (see figure 1). The six degrees of freedom (6-DOF or 6D) are the three linear directions, lateral (X), longitudinal (Y), vertical (Z), and the three angular rotations about the three linear axes (pitch, roll and yaw). A sample, fixture, sensor or any device can


>> Continued on page 22


21 | commercial micro manufacturing international Vol 7 No.2


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