High-precision hydraulic Stewart platform

RG van Silfhout

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    We present a novel design for a Stewart platform (or hexapod), an apparatus which performs positioning tasks with high accuracy. The platform, which is supported by six hydraulic telescopic struts, provides six degrees of freedom with 1 μm resolution. Rotations about user defined pivot points can be specified for any axis of rotation with microradian accuracy. Motion of the platform is performed by changing the strut lengths. Servo systems set and maintain the length of the struts to high precision using proportional hydraulic valves and incremental encoders. The combination of hydraulic actuators and a design which is optimized in terms of mechanical stiffness enables the platform to manipulate loads of up to 20 kN. Sophisticated software allows direct six–axis positioning including true path control. Our platform is an ideal support structure for a large variety of scientific instruments that require a stable alignment base with high-precision motion.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3488-3494
    Number of pages7
    JournalReview of Scientific Instruments
    Volume70
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 1999

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