Synapticon: Building NextGen Robots Made Easy
As an ace in digitalization and democratization of robotic motion control technology, Synapticon makes it easier and cheaper for businesses to develop, construct and build modern robots for B2B and B2C markets. The company was formed to address some of the pressing challenges in the robotics market that hindered companies in developing robots. Earlier, robots were too complicated, expensive and inflexible with a lot of wires, large cabinets that required massive energy consumption and were focused on only one function. “It was our goal to do something really disruptive, many years before this became a marketing buzzword. We wanted to create a ’basic technology’ which could impact a whole industry, helping a huge number of businesses to create better and more affordable robots,” extols Nikolai Ensslen, cofounder and CEO of Synapticon. The company enables businesses to achieve this through its Embedded Robotics Platform that offers a decentralized motion control approach.
Synapticon’s platform comprises the full stack of components required by modern robotic products, from high definition servo drives and IO hardware to motion control and autonomous motion planning software. At the heart of its Embedded Robotics Platform is SOMANET that comprises of modules and SoCs, offering ready-to-use as well as customizable servo drive and IO components, a corresponding multi-axis motion control API and a fully featured robot arm control and programming solution, the MOTORCORTEX Suite.
Synapticon aims to lower the cost of mechanical hardware by controlling quality-influencing physical factors in software. The basic principle of this is to combine the computation of physics models of a drive, such as the phase characteristics of the motor and the backlash of the reducer, with the highresolution and high-speed sensing of corresponding physical metrics. This way, the drive control technology can substantially improve the performance and quality, from eliminating unwanted, disturbing torque effects of low-cost motors to virtually adjusting the backlash of cycloidic reducers. Furthermore, SOMANET servo drives are among the smallest and most efficient in the industry. This allows customers to reduce or entirely avoid control cabinets, as the drives move close to motors and sensors, embedded directly inside the robot arm. Another aspect is the decentralization of safe motion functions that usually require an expensive safety PLC. With SOMANET, certified functional safety and safe motion functions, which are a bleeding-edge trend in robotics, are integrated into the servo drives. Customers can significantly save production cost with that.
Aiming for big advancements in the digitalization of the entire chain of precision, high-performance motion axes, that means servo drives, sensors, brakes, motors and gearboxes, Synapticon’s next-generation products will take miniaturization of servo drives to the next level. This will unleash completely new ways to control any physical parameter of motors and precision gearboxes, substantially increasing performance and lowering manufacturing cost in robotics. Expanding its geographical footprint, the company is strongly growing into Asia, especially China. For Synapticon this is a highly attractive and extremely strong growing market as for the Chinese industry automation, and the proliferation of robots in the industry play a very important role. “We see that a huge number of Chinese robot vendors are looking for technologies which help them to build robots faster, cheaper and with a high level of flexibility, safety, and user-friendliness. Our technology gives them all these elements,” concludes Ensslen.