EtherCAT and EtherLab
Why EtherCAT in Symbitron?
For Symbitron a solution was sought that would enable [real-time] control, using small and modular components. Use of industry-standard protocols was considered beneficial to be able to use OEM components. A major requirement was to minimize the amount of cabling through our exoskeleton. Due to the positive experience with EtherCAT in the [Mindwalker project], EtherCAT was chosen as communication standard in our setups.
Why EtherLab in Symbitron?
To control EtherCAT slaves, an EtherCAT master is needed. This is a piece of software that runs on a PC, and controls all the EtherCAT slaves. We had the following requirements:
- Should run on a real-time OS
- Have good support
- Interface to Simulink
- Easy to port to all partners within the project
[EtherLab] described by its maintainers: "Basically EtherLab® works as a Real Time kernel module attached to the open source operating system Linux® communicating with peripherals devices by a special Ethernet technology, known as EtherCAT®."
Way of Work
This Wiki documents how EtherLab is used in the Symbitron project.
- 'EtherLab Installation' - Description of installation of RT Linux and the Simulink - EtherLab configuration
- 'Setting up Slaves' - How to get a new slave running in EtherLab
- 'Working with TestManager and DLS' Tips and tricks to use EtherLab TestManager and Data Logging System (DLS).
- 'Simulink errors related to EtherLab' and how to solve them
- 'EtherCAT Slaves used in Symbitron', sorted by vendor and with some remarks on how we got them to work.
- 'UDP in EtherLab', How to use UDP in a Simulink-model run in EtherLab