6 DOF Motion Platform

25, Jul, 2016

Today, we are going to learn what is 6 DOF, Six degrees of freedom (6DoF) refers to the freedom of movement of a rigid body in three-dimensional space. Specifically, the body is free to change position as forward/backward (surge), up/down (heave), left/right (sway) translation in three perpendicular axes, combined with changes in orientation through rotation about three perpendicular axes, often termed pitch, yaw, and roll. There is a picture that can help us know it more directly.
6 dof

From the picture, we can see that the six degrees of freedom is a specific parameter count for the number of degrees of freedom an object has in three-dimensional space, such as the real world. It means that there are six parameters or ways that the body can move.
A very good example of an object that has 6DOF is an airplane. 6 Degrees of Freedom Flight Simulator Platform is a product for training and amusement. It can move freely in three-dimensional space, with the two horizontal axes as X and Z while the vertical axis is Y. If it needs to face up or down, it needs to change the orientation of its nose from horizontal X to Y, which is called pitch. If the plane needs to turn from the X axis to the Z axis without changing the orientation of its body, it can do a yaw by using its rudder so the wings remain horizontal while the nose starts to point to the Z axis. Finally, moving the plane from Z to Y will make it roll.
And, six degrees of freedom consists of the following movement parameters:
Translation – Moving along the different axes X, Y and Z
Moving up and down along the Y axis is called heaving.
Moving forwards and backwards along the X axis is called surging.
Moving left and right along the Z axis is called swaying.
Rotation – Turning in order to face a different axis.
Moving between X and Y is called pitch.
Moving between X and Z is called yaw.
Moving between Z and Y is called roll.
The following are interesting videos about the products of 6DOF, one is comes from Youtube, and the other is comes from a company’s website. The product named as 6dof platform, which is a kind of interesting and promising product.
gunnery simulator

Gunnery Simulator

Flight Simulator

Amusement Simulator

Besides the above motion simulator platform, today there are many builds of 6 DOF robotic arms for educational purpose or industrial grade. It's quite different from the Delta Robot architecture. It's a kind of Polar axis like SCARA.