Let's Make Robots!

Rotary Stewart Platform 2013

6DOF motion control platform

This is an update to my previous Stewart Platforms. This is one of the first I truly feel is "done enough" - there are no outstanding technical issues that bug me, the manufacturing is straightforward, and the software to run it is coming as fast as I can get it made.  I intend to build larger and larger versions from here on out based on this model.


  • Runs on GCODE 
  • Limit switches & homing (G28) 
  • No 3D printed parts
  • 1500g static holding force (worst case, tested to failure)
  • 20 degrees pitch & roll
  • 10 degrees yaw
  • 100mm heave
  • 40mm surge & sway
  • Measures 165mm across the top, 230mm across the base, 190mm high at rest, ~230mm at center position 
  • Weighs ~1650g. 150g less and it could carry a copy of itself!

It took 3h to assemble, program, and test.  I already had the firmware from a previous project.  I guesstimate it would take someone new 5h with a soldering iron, a screwdriver, and some crazy glue/contact cement.

My goal with these robots is to Raise Robot Literacy - dispell popular myths about robots and increase the number of people who can make, think, and talk about robots.  I hope you will support me in this endeavour by sharing this with your robot-minded friends.

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That's a very cool project. And thank you for making the mechanical drawings and code available. Would love to replicate this one day.

I saw the Hackaday link go by in the shoutbox. Congratulations.

I read there:

The bottleneck in all of this is the i2C link with control of 6 steppers limiting the overall speed of the platform.

What about using a stepper driver with a parallel port which uses step and direction?

This is a very cool project. The math must be intense to keep all those dof straight?

This think looks so cool I keep thinking I must need one but (so far) I can't figure out what I'd use it for.

On a slightly related note, as a Boy Scout I was able to "fly" in a 727 flight simulator. It was on a big hydraulic table and it was very convincing once inside. You really felt like you were in a real airplane as it took off, flew around a while and landed. A very memorable experience over 35 years ago.

Try these on for size:

I plan to keep making them bigger until I can sit on one and wear occulus rift goggles.  then I can have at home what you tried once 35 years ago.

If I make a stewart-kinect-stewart sandwhich and mount it on a tripod I've got a Portal droid.

Put a 9DOF sensor on top and you have a platform that is auto-levelling.  put that on your tracked vehicle and you can map the world more easily because you can finely tune your sensor bar.  Makes a great "neck" for a robot.  Ten in a row might be a cool snake robot.

Learning a practical way to move that many steppers at once is a lesson I need for my upcoming project.