RoNeX

 

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Connect laptops, workstations or server farms directly to your hardware. In real time.

RoNeX-stack
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Industrial Strength Fieldbus: Now available for Robots

 


 


RoNeX XOnly

Real Time Control

RoNeX sends and receives data packets 1,000 times a second, consistently, all the time. This means your control system never has to wait more than a millisecond for an update.

RoNeX XOnly

Native ROS Support (& MATLAB!)

Install RoNeX drivers for ROS with a single command and start using RoNeX in minutes. MATLAB supports ROS, so you can also use RoNeX with MATLAB.

RoNeX XOnly

Flexible & Scalable

Need more I/O channels? Or sense and control a variety of hardware? RoNeX is a family of devices based on a flexible field bus technology allowing great flexibility of topologies and connectivity.


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A Platform for ROS

RoNeX has been designed from the ground up to be plug & play compatible with ROS. Simply plug a RoNeX stack into an Ethernet port, load the drivers and you’re good to go. You can even use RoNeX with MATLAB.

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Industrial Strength FieldBus

With EtherCAT all data packets are guaranteed to arrive every millisecond. No collisions, no jitter. Perfect for ROS and real time systems. Did we mention RoNeX provides 100Mbps bandwidth? No more sucking data through a straw!

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 Open Platform

RoNeX is an open platform. The drivers are open source and RoNeX users can re-program or hack Modules. We will be making this as easy as possible by providing example firmware and development kits. We want to foster a great community user and have a dedicated group here.


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RoNeX Bridge (In) Module

Connects a RoNeX Stack directly to the Ethernet port on your host PC. Supplies power for up to 5 Modules in one Stack.

Click here for the Datasheet

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RoNeX GIO Module

Connects up to 12 analogue sensors and 12 digital peripherals. All digital pins can be used for input, output or PWM.

Click here for the Datasheet

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RoNeX SPI Module

Four dedicated SPI ports, 6 digital I/O pins and 6 analogue pins. Digital channels can be used as SPI chip-select for a total of 10 SPI peripherals connected at the same time. All digital pins can also be used in PWM mode.

Click here for the Datasheet


RoNeX In Action


Introducing the contents of the RoNeX Starter Kit.

Showing how to connect RoNeX to some common components.

Showing how to control the Joints of your robot with RoNeX.

Frequently Asked Questions



It connects hardware to software quickly, simply and efficiently.






Absolutely not – simply plug RoNeX into your computer’s ethernet port using a standard ethernet cable. Note that WiFi or a second ethernet port will be needed to connect your computer to the internet or another network.


We’re starting with the most important functionality first. We would like to hear from you (ronex-sig@googlegroups.com) what you think would be the most useful functionality to have!


That’s exactly why RoNeX uses industrial strength connectivity based on EtherCAT. The key is that EtherCAT is deterministic and reduces jitter to a minimum. This means PID loops can run on a PC without any embedded firmware in-between. No more programming embedded devices, and all your code resides on a powerful host computer.




RoNeX modules are great for experimentation and prototyping, and we know electronics can get knocked about, so casing is available and we will make the designs downloadable for anyone who wants to modify and 3D print one.


RoNeX systems come with large I/O capabilities, making them cheaper pin-for-pin than other I/O solutions. The dense nature of RoNeX modules means you need fewer modules for a given project, and because RoNeX I/O modules are flexible and multi-functional, you can use the same modules in multiple locations to do multiple tasks. And of course, re-use your ROS or Matlab code.


RoNeX is based on EtherCAT, which is designed to be able to run newspaper printing presses and similar large systems with synchronised drives across 100s of metres. You can go 100m with a single ethernet span in RoNeX, and you can put 60 analogue and 60 digital I/Os on a single Stack – and then daisy chain multiple Stacks together. The 100 Mbps bandwidth available over EtherCAT is what will eventually place a limit on scaling. Of course if you manage to saturate the 100 Mbps bus one solution would be to add more ethernet ports and connecting RoNeX Modules to those additional ports!


So do some of our customers. RoNeX provides a fast prototyping platform, allowing software, actuation, sensors, control and mechanical design work to get started without waiting for electronics, firmware and drivers. RoNeX just works – no need to debug prototype hardware, and it’s easy to have spares in case something gets broken. Meanwhile, instead of designing yet another communications architecture and infrastructure, your electronics team can concentrate on cutting edge challenges in sensing or actuation rather than providing I/O.


Yes! You will however need a special EtherCAT compatible device such as this EtherCAT switch from Beckhoff. This is an easy way to distribute RoNeX over a wide area.

 


 

Visit our Webshop at store.shadowrobot.com to order your RoNeX today!

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