"It's clear that manufacturers on the market desperately need to be able to develop and ultimately series produce robotic systems faster, more easily and at lower cost," says Nikolai Ensslen, founder and CEO of Synapticon GmbH. "However, conventional approaches and the technology that currently dominates the market make this virtually impossible. Usually, companies need to order individual elements from a wide range of suppliers, combine them and then put a lot of work into coordinating them. When they move from the prototype stage to series production, lots of companies have to start all over again from scratch." Ensslen and his coworkers at Synapticon have taken on this challenge with their SOMANET platform, which they are unveiling at HANNOVER MESSE.
SOMANET modules are hardware and software components that can be used to create control and feedback control systems for robot applications. The focus is on achieving better performing and more economical motor and motion control and on convenient retrievals and the integrated processing of sensor data. A SOMANET stack, which can be custom configured, always consists of three modules - a motor controller that can be selected from a range of performance classes, a processor and a communications interface for the standard industrial real-time protocols. In Hannover, Synapticon is exhibiting three new SOMANET modules that are suitable for miniature robots, industrial robot arms and mobile robotic systems. These new drive modules for robotics and mobility can actuate any BLDC/PMSM/DC motors and can also be used for position, speed and torque feedback control. The SOMANET IFM Drive DC1000 module, which features four phases and can therefore actuate a motor and brakes, is ideal for use in collaborative robot arms and small-scale robotics. By contrast, the SOMANET DC5000 module is primarily intended for use in electromobility applications, where output up to 5000 Watts is required. Last but not least, the SOMANET DC100 module has been specially designed for miniature drive solutions.