C-887.311 Hexapod Control with EtherCAT

Motion Controller with Automation Interface for Six-Axis Positioning Systems

Synchronous clock for entire automation line
Synchronous motion in six axes
Cycle time 3 ms

Digital controller with EtherCAT fieldbus interface

Real-time system. Master PLC control for position commanding and feedback in Cartesian coordinates. Coordinate transformation. Integrated amplifiers for six axes with DC motors

Supported operating modes

Reference move of the Hexapod to the mid-position of all six axes. Absolute positioning in six Cartesian axes. Cyclic position commanding via PLC for synchronization with further automation components. Stand-alone operation possible with PI GCS commands

Fields of application

Integration of Hexapod six-axis positioning systems in automated processes. On request: Control via additional interfaces, i.e. Profinet, Profibus, CANopen, SERCOS III

Stand-alone operation

All functions for commanding with PI GCS are integrated in the digital controller: Vectorized motions. Stable, virtual pivot point can be defined freely in the work space. Data recorder for recording operating parameters such as motor control, velocity, position or position errors. Macro command language. Stand-alone operation possible with Autostart macro, connection of keyboard and monitor, or optionally via manual Hexapod control unit

Scope of Delivery

The six-axis Hexapod system from PI contains all connecting cables. Power source (24 V / 5 A) for axes and controller (DC ATX 150 W, 10 to 30 V DC) provided by customer



6D controller for Hexapods, with EtherCAT interface

Drive type

Servo motors


Fieldbus protocol

EtherCAT (CoE = CANopen over EtherCAT)

Drive profile

CiA402 Drive Profile (IEC 61800-7-201)

Cycle time

3 ms

Supported modes of operation

Homing mode, cyclic synchronous position mode via PLC, configuration mode

Supported modes of synchronization

Distributed Clock (DC) mode; SyncManager (SM) mode

Motion and control

Servo characteristics

32-bit PID filter

Trajectory profile modes

Trapezoid, linear interpolation


CPU: Core2Duo 2.2 GHz, motion control chip with 2.5 kHz Servo Update Rate

Encoder input

AB (quadrature) differential TTL signal, 5 MHz

Stall detection

Servo off, triggered by position error

Reference point switch

TTL level

Electrical properties

Max. output power per channel

10-bit output for PWM drivers, 24 kHz

Max. output voltage per channel

TTL in PWM operation for SIGN and MAGN

Interface and operation

Interface / communication

EtherCAT (RJ45 socket)

TCP/IP, RS-232

VGA (monitor), USB (keyboard, mouse, manual control unit)

Hexapod connection

6 × Sub-D connector 15-pin for data transfer

Voltage connection

Phoenix plug 3-pin

Command set

PI General Command Set (GCS)

User software


Software drivers

LabVIEW driver, dynamic libraries for Windows and Linux


Operating voltage

10 to 30 VAC, 150 W

Operating temperature range

5 to 40 °C


7 kg


182 mm × 248 mm × 185 mm 

Drawings / Images

The positioning system consists of the C-887.311 controller with EtherCAT interface and a Hexapod, in this case H-811. For commanding with PLC, the system acts like an intelligent six-axis drive
EtherCAT® is a registered trademark and patented technology, licensed by Beckhoff Automation GmbH, Germany.




PI Datasheet C-887.311

Hexapod Control with EtherCAT® Motion Controller with Automation Interface for Six-Axis Positioning Systems
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