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Press Release

Heason Technology Build EtherCAT Controlled Hexapod Demonstration Rig for MENE 2015

Motion control and high-tech systems integrator Heason Technology will demonstrate its capability for mechatronic design and build with an EtherCAT controlled 6-axis Hexapod (parallel robot) demonstration rig that comprises mechanical, electronic

ETHERCATThe rig actually uses two Hexapods – a large servo-electric actuator driven unit that can run pre-programmed motion sequences or can be configured to mirror the movement of a smaller, manually controlled, ‘joystick’ with six linear position sensors. The motorised Hexapod’s top plate is thus positioned to a full six degrees of freedom to move the load (three 20-inch TFT video monitors) in translation (x, y, z) and rotation (pitch, yaw, roll). For even more visual effect, the rig has an electric ducted fan and a Bernoulli-effect blower that supports a ball throughout the movement of the Hexapod.

The automated Hexapod uses the Stewart Platform system to full effect with six Thomson PC-series precision linear actuators arranged in pairs and fixed by flexible ball-joint linkages to the mechanism’s rigid base and moving top. Fitted with Kollmorgen AKM™ series brushless motors with incremental encoder feedback, the actuator’s fully synchronised servo control combines Elmo

Motion’s ‘Gold’ series Solo Whistle drives and Maestro EtherCAT master controller. As part of a wide choice of programming environment options for the Maestro, the industry standard IEC 61131-3 with with PLC function block coding was chosen for the sequence and manual modes.

The manually controlled joystick hexapod has the same geometry as the motorised version with a fixed base and moving top with a simple control arm fitted. Visitors to the stand are invited to position the larger unit using joystick control. Six VLPSC series linear sensors, supplied by Variohm EuroSensor – Heason’s sister company in the Variohm Holdings Group, each have a stroke length of 50 mm and include self-aligning pivot bearing mountings as standard. The durable sensor design is based on conductive plastic potentiometric technology with an integrated signal conditioning module for voltage or current output.

The Slinfold – West Sussex based motion specialist combines its own design and build systems integration expertise with motion products, components and systems from a small but select group of globally recognised distribution partners.

At this year’s show, Heason (Stand #E1) will also showcase a selection of products from its comprehensive range including servo and stepper motors with associated drives and motion controls, linear and rotary positioning mechanics, linear and rotary encoders, ceramic servo motors and positioning stages, high precision gearboxes, rotary actuators and slip ring assemblies.


Article published on: 07/07/2015

Article last updated on: 07/07/2015