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Ross Robotics

Solid Edge supports the creative process of exploration and experimentation for reconfigurable robots

From concept to clarity with Solid Edge

The Robosynthesis Modular Platform was conceived at the start of the 21st century when Norman was living in France and exploring the concept of a new construction toy. He mentioned this to an engineer friend who introduced him to Solid Edge software from product lifecycle management (PLM) specialist Siemens PLM Software.


“It was a revelation,” says Norman. “What had begun as a rather dreamy intellectual idea became sharp and clear. I picked my way into Solid Edge and found more and more functionality. It was a watershed moment when I realized I could simply sketch, then extrude to create a 3D shape. I went on to discover that I could put bits together and create an assembly or place parts in a library and take them out later. There was a sense of pure delight when I updated a part I’d built and it updated in the assembly as well. To top all of this, I could break up an assembly and go back to where I was. There are clearly lots of little ‘Eureka!’ moments as a user becomes quicker and more confident.”

Complexity achieved through simplicity

Norman arrived at the answer in the form of a universal connector that fixes in any direction. This is critical to the Robosynthesis Modular Platform, and he subsequently patented the design.

“As Solid Edge has provided new functionalities in synchronous modeling, some processes are almost immeasurably speedier,”Norman adds. “Where I would have budgeted a whole day for certain tasks, they can now be completed by mid-morning, a 75 percent reduction in time.”

Elegant design; functional features

For Norman there has been a sequence of development milestones. “The creative process does work in mysterious ways,” he says. “Just as observation can distort a particle within subatomic physics, the act of scrutinizing may not yield definitive answers. The big challenge is always to see where a concept might be going, and that is not necessarily easy.”


His determination has, however, led to a range of patents and the Robosynthesis Modular Platform is attracting intense interest. Potential applications include demining, agricultural activities and the maintenance of critical infrastructure.


“Despite my enthusiasm for elegant design, our robots are really only components, and Solid Edge is key for us because it is great for designing components,” concludes Norman.

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Ross Robotics Case Study

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Ross Robotics uses the following Siemens PLM products

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