Physics Today



How to Steer Light Beams With Hexapods


Executive Summary

Hexapods are mini robots that can precisely manipulate objects in virtually any direction. They are ideal for many applications, from testing gyroscopic sensors to light-beam steering in synchrotrons. This whitepaper explains how to program hexapods to change between multiple coordinate systems. This paper focuses on a practical use case of hexapod programming by describing how it can be programmed to manipulate a beam (such as a laser) to place it precisely on a point of interest in space.


Learning Outcomes:

Scientists, engineers and researchers who read this whitepaper will learn:

  • How the work coordinates system and tool rotation impact the precision of beam positioning
  • How to define coordinate systems for hexapod programming
  • The relationship between the XY position, the mirror angles and the optical configuration


Who Should Read this Whitepaper:

Scientists, engineers and researchers who conduct the following activities:

  • Those who steer beams of light at synchrotrons
  • Those who test gyroscopic sensors
  • Those who inspect coordinate measuring machines (CMMs)


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