Trinamic Introduces an Open-Source Reference Design for End-of-Arm Tooling

June 19, 2021 by Nancy Chenyizhi Liu

Trinamic Motion Control, now part of Maxim Integrated, launched an open-source reference design for developing processes of industrial robotic end-of-arm tooling (EoAT).

The TMCM-1617-GRIP-REF is integrated with the hardware-based field-oriented control (FOC) and three communication ports to shrink the electronic robotic gripper design size by three times and reduce EoAT development time in half.


A Fully Integrated Reference Design

According to Trinamic, the TMCM-1617-GRIP-REF is made for the TMCM-1617 BLDC servo driver. The real-time adjustment of various servo drive modes, including gripper position and force, can increase productivity. The board of this reference design was created in a standard gripper electronics form-factor and can be used in robotic gripper applications. 


Video used courtesy of Trinamic


Using Trinamic's TMCL protocol, this reference design can control a brushless DC electric (BLDC) motor via EtherCAT, IO-Link, or RS485. It features MAX22000 configurable analog input and output devices, Digital Hall sensor interface, ABN encoder interface, and MAX14906 quad-channel digital input/output to adjust single-axis BLDC servo driver.


Trinamic introduced the TMCM-1617-GRIP-REF.  Image used courtesy of Trinamic


This design also supports closed-loop control, position mode, velocity mode, and torque mode.


Shrinking the Gripper Size

The TMCM-1617-GRIP-REF was designed as a fully integrated hardware platform, to cut EoAT development time in half and shrink the size of the robotics grippers by three times. 

It provides motor control algorithms and diagnostics, protocol stacks, and various bus options for EoAT to improve the productivity on the factory floor, Jonas Proeger, Director of Business Management at Trinamic, mentioned in a press release.

This reference design features such as software-configurable input/outputs, hardware-based FOC, and three communication protocol stacks, are integrated into a compact solution size of 4,197 mm2.

 The TMCM-1617-GRIP-REF. Image used courtesy of Trinamic


With the help of TMCM-1617-GRIP-REF, industrial automation engineers hope to simplify the tooling development process and focus more on developing advanced and real-time EoAT solutions that drive intelligence to the edge.


EoAT Solution Delivery

The Trinamic motion control language - integrated development environment (TMCL-IDE) is a software platform for setting up Trinamic products, writing and modifying TMCL programs, and tuning the parameters. The combination of TMCL-IDE and the TMCM-1617-GRIP-REF delivers a complete EoAT solution.


 The TMCM-1617-GRIP-REF’s block diagram. Image used courtesy of Trinamic [PDF]


TMCL-IDE is designed for using Trinamic modules and chips to develop applications. Besides tuning the parameters, it also offers tools for visualizing real-time data, developing, and debugging independent applications. When connecting motors to a computer, an evaluation board or TMCM module can use TMCL-IDE to control the motors and evaluate product features without code-writing. 

Its graphical user interface offers a dialogue window for commands in direct mode, a “guide” to help users monitor real-time behavior, visualized tools, and options to log all data.

In addition, it offers functions for updating the firmware of a module and exporting settings to the firmware project. For motion controllers, it allows engineers to use simple commands for positioning and tuning the relevant parameters.

It is available from Trinamic’s authorized distributors.