Cartesian Motion


Rexroth’s showing the new EasyHandling Cartesian Motion System (CMS) at trade shows this season.

So what’s Cartesian motion? It’s motion along three axes. Not just up and down. Not just back and forth. This is fancy motion. Not as fancy as six-axis motion, but plenty fancy enough for curvilinear movements.

Cartesian motion is named for Rene Descartes, a mathematician and philosopher. You might know him as the “I think, therefore I am” guy, but he was also a major physicist in his day.

Descartes came up with the first Laws of Motion, which Isaac Newton built upon for his more famous, later laws. Descartes pointed out that motion and rest are states, and that the change from one state to another is the result of exterior forces.

This was a new idea, compared with the medieval idea that rest is the natural state of everything. The ideas of entropy and momentum were new ideas within Cartesian physics.

Descartes also thought a lot about how motion could be affected by “collisions” — points where the movement of one thing affects the movement of another thing.

Some scholars think that the value of Descartes to modern physics is underappreciated. But Descartes did get a type of robot named after him. There are Cartesian robots, but no Newtonian robots.

Cartesian or six axes, robots need motion controls, drivers, and servos to get them out of a state of rest and into a state of motion. Also to help them avoid collisions. When you need support with Rexrtoh motion control, call us.

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