Moog Animatics Combitronic


Introducing ™ Communications

High Speed Transparent Communications over CAN bus

Animatics Corporation has introduced a significant advancement in Integrated Motor Technology. Combitronic™ is a protocol that operates over a standard “CAN” (Controller Area Network) interface. It may coexist with either CANopen or DeviceNet protocols at the same time. Unlike these common protocols however, Combitronic™ requires no single dedicated master to operate. Each Integrated Servo connected to the same network communicates on an equal footing, sharing all information, and therefore, sharing all processing resources. Combitronic communications operate over a standard “CAN” interface, the same basic hardware used in most automobiles as well as in familiar industrial networks such as CANopen and DeviceNet. Unlike these common control networks, however, Combitronic has no master or slave.

An array of Animatics SmartMotor servos become one giant parallel-processing system when equipped with the Combitronic™ interface. This powerful technological advancement provides the joint benefits of centralized and distributed control while eliminating their respective historical drawbacks, opening up the possibility to either:

  • Eliminate PLCs from machine designs
  • or
  • Enhancing the performance of existing PLCs by unburden­ing it from specific tasks


The optional Combitronic™ technology allows any motor’s program to read from, write to, or control any other motor simply by tagging a local variable or command with the other motor’s CAN address. All SmartMotor™ units become one multi-tasking, data-sharing system without writing a single line of communications code or requiring detailed knowledge of the CAN protocol. The only prerequisite is to have matched baud rates and unique addresses.

Up to 120 SmartMotor servos may be addressed on a single array using Combitronic technology.

Combitronic Protocol features:

  • 120 axis node count
  • 1MHz Bandwidth
  • No Master required
  • No scan list or node list set up required
  • All Nodes have full read/write access to all other nodes

For example, SmartMotor servos use a single letter command to start a motion profile, so a line of code to start a motion profile would look like this:

GIssue Go in local motor
G:2Issue Go to Motor 2
G:0Issue Global Go to all motors on the network
x=PA:5Assign Motor 5 Actual position to the variable “x”

Additionally, comparisons or live polling and value comparisons may be made across the bus:

IF PA:3>PA:5If motor 3 position exceeds motor 5 position
S:3Stop motor 3
WHILE IN (4) : 2==0 LOOP Wait for Input 4 of motor 2 to go high