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Motion Control Platform Selection Guide

Meet your motion control match.

Compare our motion control platforms to determine which is the best fit for your needs.

Automation1 Legacy


Automation1 MDK Motion Control Development Kit Motion Composer Suite
Machine and Motion controllers


Automation1 iSMC Intelligent Software-Based Machine and Motion Controller A3200 Software-Based Machine Controller
servo motors, galvo scan heads and other drives


Servo Motor
Galvo Scan Head

Coming Soon: Piezo Actuator
Servo Motor - A3200, Ensemble, Soloist
Galvo Scan Head - A3200
Piezo - A3200, Ensemble
Hexapod - A3200
Motion Control Busses


HyperWire IEEE-1394/FireWire - A3200
AeroNet - Ensemble

**Hexapods can be controlled by servo motor drives.

Develop: Software Features

See Software Products

General Tools

Single Application for Configuring, Programming & Data Visualization Yes No
Application-Wide User Management Yes No
Deploy Custom Applications for Linux Yes No
Advanced Controller File System Yes No
All Controller Files Zip to Single Machine Controller Definition File Yes No
Device Manager (Catalog Manager) Yes Yes
Multiple Simultaneous Client Connections to a Controller Coming Soon No
Controller History Tracking Coming Soon No
Plug & Play Electrical & Mechanical Device Support Future Limited

Available Add-On Applications and Software Tools

Motor Sizer (Free) Yes Yes
Motion Designer Future Yes
HexGen Hexapod Sizer Yes A3200
CADFusion Yes A3200
Galvo CFC (Free) Yes A3200
CNC Operator Interface Coming Soon A3200

Setup and Configuration Tools

EasyTune 1-Button Servo Tuning Yes Yes
Axis Calibration Yes Yes
Sine-Wave Encoder Tuning Yes Yes
Loop Transmission/ Frequency Response Tool Yes Yes
Advanced Diagnostics & Tuning Yes Yes
System & Controller Performance Checking Yes No
Drive Firmware Loading from Configuration Tool Yes No
Automatically Configure Drive Communication Bus Yes No
Machine Setup System Configuration Wizard Yes No

Programming and Development

Programming Language AeroScipt AeroBasic
Load, Compile & Run Programs Yes Yes
Numeric Data Type Yes Yes
String Data Types Yes Yes
Global Variables Yes Yes
User-Defined Functions Yes Yes
Variables & I/O Watch Yes Yes
Multi-Dimensional Arrays Yes Ensemble, Soloist
Program & Local Variables Yes Ensemble, Soloist
Structures Yes Ensemble, Soloist
User-Defined Libraries Yes Ensemble, Soloist
Intellectual Property Protection of Libraries Yes Ensemble, Soloist
Intelligent Autocomplete IDE Yes No
Real-Time Build Error Checking Yes No
Axis Data Type & Axis Arrays Yes No
Switch, Foreach & Break Statements Yes No
CNC Functionality/RS-274 Yes* A3200
*note: G-Code was a paid option in the A3200 controller, but comes standard with an Automation1 controller.

Data Collection and Visualization

1D & 2D Data Visualizer Yes A3200, Ensemble
Fast Fourier Transforms (FFTs) Yes Yes
Save System Data Directly to A File Yes Yes
View 1D & 2D Data Concurrently Coming Soon No

Control: Machine & Motion Controller Features

See Machine & Motion Controller Products

Controller Hardware

Industrial PCs Automation1 iPC n/a A3200-iPC
Customer PCs Yes* n/a A3200*
Intelligent Drive-Based Controller n/a Automation1 iXC4e
Automation1 iXC4
Ensemble, Soloist**
*PC must meet Aerotech's specifications and adhere to all required setup procedures.
**See list of drive hardware below.

General Features

Programmable Coordinated Motion Trajectories Yes, 32 Axes Yes, 12 Axes A3200, Ensemble
Programming Tasks 4 User Tasks (Std).
31 User Tasks (Opt.)
1 Reserved task
4 User Tasks (Std).
9 User Tasks (Opt.)
1 Reserved task
PC-Based / Software Controller Yes No A3200
Drive-Based Controller No Yes Ensemble, Soloist
Expanded IO Available Yes Yes Yes
Dual Loop Control Yes Yes Yes
Sinusoidal Commutation Yes Yes Yes
Fast Position Capture Yes Yes Yes
High-Speed Registration Yes Yes Yes
On-the-Fly End-Point Modification Yes Yes Yes
Data Acquisition Yes Yes Yes
Joystick Support Yes Yes Yes
Gantry Mode Yes Yes A3200, Ensemble
Signal Logging Yes Yes A3200
Coordinate Transformations Yes Yes A3200
Motion Trajectory Scaling Yes Yes A3200
Motion Trajectory Translation Yes Yes A3200
Motion Trajectory Rotation Yes Yes A3200
Motion Trajectory Mirroring Yes Yes A3200
Kinematics* Yes Yes A3200
3D Error Mapping Yes Yes A3200
Access Control Yes No No
*Automation1 has a C programming language kinematic interface that enables both inverse and forward kinematics to be calculated. Please consult the factory about this capability.


1D Calibration File Yes Yes Yes
Accuracy Correction Yes Yes Yes
2D Calibration File Yes Yes A3200, Ensemble
Orthogonality Correction Yes Yes A3200, Ensemble
Straightness Correction Yes Yes A3200, Ensemble
ThermoComp - Thermal Compensation Yes Yes A3200
Galvo Calibration & Power Factor Correction Yes n/a A3200
Advanced Calibration Coming Soon Coming Soon No

Motion Features

Servo Motor Trajectory Calculation Rate 20 kHz 20 kHz 8 kHz - A3200
1 kHZ - Ensemble, Soloist
Galvo Scan Head Trajectory Calculation Rate 100 kHz n/a 48 kHz - A3200
Point-to-Point Motion Yes Yes Yes
Contoured Motion Yes Yes A3200, Ensemble
Arbitrary Path Generation (PVT Motion Commands) Yes Yes Yes
Multiple Axis Homing Routines Yes Yes Yes
Velocity Blending Yes Yes Yes
Velocity Profiling Yes Yes Yes
Electronic Gearing Yes Yes Yes
Electronic Cam Profiling Yes Yes Yes
Safe Zones Yes Yes A3200
Bezier Motion Commands Coming Soon Coming Soon A3200
Cutter Radius Compensation Yes Yes A3200
Lookahead Yes Yes A3200
Acceleration Limiting Yes Yes A3200
Corner Rounding Yes Yes A3200
Parts Rotation Yes Yes A3200
Retrace (Block-by-Block) Yes Yes A3200
Tool Normalcy Control Yes Yes A3200
SLICE Raster and Step Command* Future Future A3200
Ellipses (G-Code)* Future Future A3200
Fixture Offsets* Future Future A3200
Cutter Offset Compensation* Future Future A3200
Tool Tables Future Future A3200
*Automation1 includes the ability to write custom libraries. Several application-specific motion commands once handled natively by our controllers can now be accomplished via custom libraries. Our own libraries will be further developed over time.

Advanced Motion Features

Enhanced Tracking Control Yes Yes Yes
Friction Compensation Yes Yes Yes
Command Shaping Coming Soon Coming Soon Ensemble, Soloist
Cross-Axis Feedforward Coming Soon Coming Soon A3200, Ensemble
Harmonic Cancellation Coming Soon Coming Soon Yes
Enhanced Throughput Module Support Yes Yes Yes
Gain Scheduling Coming Soon Coming Soon Ensemble, Soloist

Process Tool Control Features

Integrated Digital & Analog I/O Control with Motion Programming Yes Yes Yes
Position Synchronized Output (PSO) Yes Yes Yes
Part-Speed Position Synchronized Output (Part-Speed PSO) Yes Yes A3200
Analog Power Control Yes Yes A3200
Distance Logging Future Future A3200

Galvo Scan Head Controller Features

Servo Control Rate 200 kHz n/a 192 kHz - A3200
Galvo Scan Head & Voice Coil Motor Support Yes n/a A3200
Infinite Field of View (IFOV) Yes n/a A3200
Drive Array for Process Control & Data Acquisition Yes n/a A3200
Barcode Datamatrix* Coming Soon n/a A3200
*Barcode generation is supported via Windows fonts in CADFusion application.

Drive: Servo Motor, Galvo Scan Head & Other Drive Features

See Drive Hardware

Drive Hardware

Servo Drives with PWM Amplifiers PWM Drives PWM Drives
Servo Drives with Linear Amplifiers Linear Drives Linear Drives
Drive Racks Drive Racks Drive Racks
Stepper Drives & Controls Stepper Drives & Controllers Stepper Drives & Controllers
Galvo Scan Head Drives Galvo Laser Scan Head Drives Galvo Laser Scan Head Drives
Dedicated Hexapod Controllers Future HEX RC
Piezo Nanopositioner Drive Coming Soon: Automation1 QL4e
Automation1 QL4
Piezo Drives
Servo Controllers Automation1 XI4 Nservo
Galvo Scan Head XY2-100 Interface Coming Soon: Automation1 GI4 Nmark-SSaM

Servo Motor Drive Features

Servo Control Rate 20 kHz 8 kHz - A3200
20 kHZ - Ensemble, Soloist
PWM & Linear Amplifier Options Yes Yes
AC Brushless, DC Brush, Voice Coil & Stepper Motor Support Yes Yes
Hexapod Support Yes A3200
Backlash Compensation Yes Yes
Rollover Mode Yes Yes
Brake (Enable/Output/DisableDelay/EnableDelay) Yes Yes
Analog & Digital I/O Yes Yes
Drive Array for Process Control & Data Acquisition Yes Yes
Safe Torque Off Yes No**
Autofocus Yes Yes
Analog Input to Servo Loop Coming Soon Yes
Fiber Optic Alignment Routines Coming Soon A3200
Touch Probe Routines Yes A3200
Velocity Mode Future Soloist
Torque Mode Future Soloist
Barcode Datamatrix No*** A3200
*The Automation1 servo controller operates off of a 20kHz trajectory from the controller. Ensemble and Soloist have servo controllers that interpolate up to 20 kHz of servo control points from a 1 kHz trajectory.
**These drives include an E-stop Sense input that alarms the drive of an external e-stop condition.
***Barcode generation is supported via Windows fonts in CADFusion application.

Piezo Nanopositioner Drive Features

Servo Control Rate Coming Soon 24 kHZ - A3200
20 kHz - Ensemble
Piezo Nanopositioning Stage Support Coming Soon A3200, Ensemble
Capacitive Sensor Feedback Coming Soon A3200, Ensemble

Supported Feedback Devices

None (Open-Loop) Yes Yes
Square-Wave Encoder Yes Yes
Single-Wave Encoder Yes Yes
Analog Input Yes Yes
Half-Effect Switches Yes Yes
EnDat Encoder Yes Yes
Biss Encoder Yes Yes
Resolver Yes Yes
Capacitance Sensor (Piezo) Coming Soon A3200, Ensemble
SSI Encoder Yes No
Dual Loop Yes Yes
Dual-Loop with Sine-Wave Encoders Yes No
Parallel Laser Interface Future A3200

Connect: Motion Control Bus

See HyperWire Bus

General Specifications

Motion Control Bus HyperWire® FireWire - A3200
AeroNet - Ensemble
Physical Layer Glass Optical Fiber IEEE-1394 - A3200
Ethernet - Ensemble
Communication Rate 2 Gbps 400 Mbps - A3200
12.5 Mbps - Ensemble
Jitter* <1 nsec 60 - 680 nsec - A3200
20 - 180 nsec - Ensemble
Master Clock Stability +/- 5ppm +/- 100 ppm - A3200
+/- 50 ppm - Ensemble
Maximum Network Rate 100 kHz 8 kHz - A3200
1 kHz - Ensemble
MIMO Communication Support Gantry Control over HyperWire No - A3200
No - Ensemble
*Patent-pending jitter reduction technology nearly eliminates drive-to-drive jitter and maintains constant low jitter for variable numbers of hardware devices on the communication bus.

Connect: Controller Interface

See Motion Controllers

Library Support

.NET Yes Yes
C Yes Yes
C++ Yes Yes
LabVIEW VIs Coming Soon Yes
MATLAB API Coming Soon Yes
Tango Future Ensemble, Soloist
Python Coming Soon No
REST API Future A3200, Ensemble

Industrial Bus Support

EtherCAT Coming Soon A3200*
PROFINET Future A3200
EtherNet/IP Future Ensemble, Soloist
Modbus TPC Coming Soon Yes
Web Server Future A3200
Ethernet TCP/IP Future Yes
RS-232 No Yes
*EtherCAT I/O Master only.

Turn your precision and automation challenges into process success.