Category:EtherCAT by EtherLab

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Introducing EtherLab

  • EtherLab is the open-source EtherCAT Master stack SW developed and maintained by IgH. Every STEP platform comes with preconfigured Etherlab so that users can make advantage of hard realtime fieldbus communication provided by EtherCAT directly.
  • EtherCAT is a kind of fieldbus where a master device (running EtherCAT master stack) prepares all the frames which will be processed by each slaves on the EtherCAT bus. In particular EtherCAT slaves are able and ready to process data, usually referred to as PDO (process data object), in the frames transmitted from the master on the fly. This means that the master should know which slaves will participate in trading the frames, where the slaves are located in the bus, and which data will be exchanged. These information should be prescribed by applications (or users) before any EtherCAT communication takes place. The integrity of the information is so important that even communication may not be established in presence of any mismatch. For detailed information on EtherCAT please consult to ETG.
  • EtherLab provides a set of APIs to setup EtherCAT slaves, setup domains (a logical memory containing all PDOs), and send/receive domains, and many other things. In particular, CoE (CANopen-over-EtherCAT) protocol has been already implemented in EtherLab, which is to be a kind of standard in servo drives.
  • In addition EtherLab provides a command-line tool, which users can access in STEP platforms by command ethercattool and serviceethercat.
    • serviceethercat: used to manage the master
    • ethercattool: used to manage slaves, to process SDO (service data object), and the like
  • NRMKPlatform provides a GUI application NRMKEcatTool to setup EtherCAT application quickly without error. It mainly focuses on visually creating domains and automatically generating C++ codes which can be used in NRMKFoundation framework.

Introducing NRMKEtherCAT Framework