VICTOR, N.Y. — New Scale Technologies Inc. is developing the world’s smallest commercial hexapod under a Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grant.
Awarded by the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the grant funds development of a clinically compatible, six-degree-of-freedom, handheld micromanipulator for hand tremor cancellation in microsurgical systems.
New Scale Technologies has been awarded an SBIR grant from NIH to develop a miniature commercial hexapod, a tiny six-degree-of-freedom micromanipulator. Courtesy of New Scale.
A prototype micromanipulator was developed the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University with New Scale contributions. At less than 25 mm in diameter, it was the first hexapod or Gough-Stewart platform small enough for use in a handheld instrument. New Scale is using the grant to develop an improved system with the same small size of the prototype, but preparing for a clinically compatible product ready for commercialization.
The hexapod system includes six piezoelectric SQUIGGLE micromotors, miniature bearing assemblies, motor mounts, flexures, spring preloads and miniature drive electronics. Specific aims include improved dynamic performance, higher precision and integration of a microcontroller with local feedback and motion control. Applications include microsurgery, use as a robotic end-effector for testing and manufacture of MEMS and photonics accessories, and positioning and alignment of collimated fibers or assemblies.
New Scale Technologies develops and manufactures small, precise, closed-loop positioning solutions.
The video below shows an animation of the hexapod motion.