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Drive & IO Modules

Synapticon > Products > SOMANET > Drive & IO Modules

The Essence of Intelligent Robotic Motion

Electric drives are the foundation of robotics. Sensor data is what fuels advanced robotics. Synapticon SOMANET‘s smart sensor-driven control software and cutting-edge inverter hardware increase the performance and lower the cost of robotic drives and electromechanics. Your next robotic vision has just come a big step closer.


A SOMANET Node can be configured using three modules: processor (Core), communication (Com) and Drive or IO module. For each of those module types there is a variety of options available, supporting any robotic control application from simple sensor data acquisition up to sophisticated multi-axis motion control.


With a power stage density of only 10 cm² per 1kW, Synapticon servo drives are among the most compact power electronics in the world. This allows for the drives to be integrated right next to the motors in a robotic arm or a mobile base. Adding integrated safety functions, IOs and advanced sensor data acquisition, the number of wires reduces from hundreds to only six: one DC power bus and one communication line. Expensive shielding and wear protection becomes obsolete. Cables never need to be maintained again. Product design becomes simpler. Robot production becomes much cheaper. 


Who sees more is in better control: High-speed and high-resolution motor phase monitoring is the base for Synapticon’s Model-Predictive Field-Oriented Motor Control technology. Constantly computing a model of the connected motor, this software always holds a spectrum of control strategies to adopt to the current load situation and perfectly respond to the motor’s exact geometry. The result: perfectly smooth and quiet drives as well as lowest heat-dissipation.


Mobile robots run on batteries. Collaborative robot arms need to be intrinsically safe for humans. Beyond these obvious reasons to prefer low-voltage (< 60 Volt) over higher voltage drives, comes Synapticon's progressive, miniaturized inverter designs that use the most advanced power switches available. Don't be afraid of thicker cables: even though the currents are higher and individual power bus wires are wider, the daisy-chained two DC bus wires and one communication line are still much more compact than the ones of traditional, centralized higher voltage drive systems.


Synapticon drives can interface to a broad range of feedback encoders, torque and force sensors or even can read touch-sensitive skins and interpret LiDAR data. As they also allow advanced users to run custom software code locally, the implementation of reflexes based on sensor data events and the calculation of kinematics become possible on the servo drive.


With Synapticon‘s OBLAC Drive Tool, configuring and tuning a SOMANET Node to work with any BLDC/PMSM motor from any manufacturer is very easy.


There can be many reasons why a standard module doesn’t fit an application. Special feature requirements that are not covered by the standard SOMANET Modules, low cost targets particularly in mass applications, need for tight mechanical integration: Synapticon‘s SOMANET SoCs, being also at the heart of a standard SOMANET Node, enable for custom designs. Synapticon’s Custom Design Services are there to carry out this development for you fast and efficiently. High-volume customers have the option to perform design and production of custom SOMANET Modules in-house with own resources: SOMANET hardware and software source files are being made available to such clients and SOMANET SoCs are supplied to their in-house production.

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