How can you have greater than 6 axis control?

I have a fairly good background in robotics; grew up around lots of industrial 6 axis robots, was fortunate enough to bring the smaller ones home from time to time, and it got me very invested in the field, along with the associated mathematics and computer vision. My brain is mostly physics and mathematics oriented, and I’ve always been curious about what is implied by >6 axes of control, as the pose of something is fully defined in 6 axis..everything else is just time derivatives or integrals of this description; and six axis robots are defined as such because they have control over the full range of position and orientation within the work volume…but I see robots with titles like 12 axis…how? What added positional or orientation control could they be adding?

I have messed around with very articulate robots claiming to be 7 axis because of an additional joint allowing almost snake like movement…but this isn’t more than 6 axis control, as the ultimate end effector is still limited to motion in 6 axis, and control of certain time derivatives and integrals of that position and orientation…is 7+ axes just buzz words?

submitted by /u/sc1201aurora
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