Traditional robots can handle heavy loads at high speed, but lack positioning accuracy. Hexapod robots - six-legged parallel-kinematic machines - have a long history in precision optics alignment & micro / nano-manufacturing automation. They were considered overkill for traditional industrial automation applications, but the need for miniaturization and higher precision is rapidly changing the situation. New high-speed fieldbus interfaces facilitate integration with PLC or CNC controllers.
The top machine builders are switching from proprietary hardware-based PLCs, like Allen-Bradley, TwinCAT, Mitsubishi and KEYENCE, to open standards-based EtherCAT-enabled software PLCs on IPCs. KINGSTAR provides a fully-featured and integrated software PLC based on an open and accessible RTOS. KINGSTAR Soft PLC also includes add-on or third-party components for motion control and machine vision that are managed by a rich user interface for C++ programmers and non-developers alike.