A Stewart Platform based Flight Simulator for F-16 (Source: NLR Netherlands)
A Puma robot mounted on a Stewart Platform
(Source: Robotic Manipulation/ Murray, Li,
The Stewart platforms can be classified into different configurations. The most general Stewart platform is the 6-6 platform, where the legs connect to six different points on the base and six different point on the top platform. The general configuration is given by "B-P", where B is the number of points legs connect to the base and P is the number of points legs connect to the top platform. Thus, the configuration for the two Stewart Platforms shown above would be 3-3.
The Configuration may also be given as "6-p", where p is the number of points legs join the upper platform. Thus, the two platforms shown in the figure above would have configuration of 6-3.
It has been analytically found out that the maximum number of solutions for most general Stewart Platform would theoretically be 40. This is an extremely non-linear equation and shows why the FDA might be difficult.
For machine tool applications the issue of stiffness plays a major role in selecting th econfiguration. As the Octahedral Structure is supposed to be the most rigid structure, the structures resembling that should be chosen. Since 6-3 is an octahedral structure it is chosen for most machine tool applications.
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