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Newport’s new low-cost hexapod is a parallel kinematic motion device suitable for complex motion applications that demand high-load capacities and accuracy in up to six independent axes.

The hexapod provides six degrees of freedom: X, Y, Z, pitch, roll and yaw.The Newport hexapod is driven by six enhanced versions of the company’s high-performance DC servomotor-driven LTA actuators.

The quality of the actuators has a strong impact on the overall motion performance of a hexapod, but of almost equal importance are the joints with which the actuators are attached to the base and the moving top plate, according to the company.

Newport’s engineers came up with a design of special anti-friction-coated spherical joints that are not only simple but that also provide higher rigidity than ordinary universal joints.

The company claims that the result is a hexapod that provides more than five times higher rigidity and twice the load capacity of other hexapods of a similar size.

The Newport hexapod is supplied with a specific HXP100-ELEC controller.

This controller masters the synchronised transformations from Cartesian input co-ordinates to the motion of the hexapod legs.

In addition, the HXP100-ELEC provides advanced features including instrument grade I/Os, hardware-based input triggers, event triggers, high-speed on-the-fly data acquisition, fast TCP/IP communication and an integrated TCL programming language for onboard processes.

All these features improve accuracy and throughput.

A common requirement for many hexapod motion applications is a virtual pivot point, allowing the user to freely choose the point in space that is a pivot point for all rotations.

The hexapod’s XPS controller provides this as a standard feature.

Newport’s hexapod can not only relocate the pivot point, but, through advanced technology, the entire co-ordinate system can be relocated.

In addition, two user-definable co-ordinate systems are provided, called tool (moves with the hexapod) and work (stationary co-ordinate systems).

Incremental displacements are possible in either one of these systems in Cartesian co-ordinates and positions can be calculated from one system to the other by a function call.

These functions provide a new way of mastering hexapod motions without the need for complex external co-ordinate transformations.

Newport Corporation is a leading global supplier of advanced-technology products and systems to customers in the scientific research, microelectronics manufacturing, aerospace and defense/security, life and health sciences and precision industrial manufacturing markets. Newport’s innovative solutions leverage its expertise in high-power semiconductor, solid-state and ultrafast lasers, photonics instrumentation, sub-micron positioning systems, vibration isolation, optical subsystems and precision automation to enhance the capabilities and productivity of its customers’ manufacturing, engineering and research applications. Newport is part of the Standard & Poor’s SmallCap 600 Index and the Russell Microcap Index.

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