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Which system would you use?

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Full Member level 6
Nov 25, 2009
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Sao Paulo, Brazil
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A research,

Which digital and wired communication system would you use for the following robotic system.

A system composed by a PC/104+ (it is just a very compact standard PC) with Xenomai (or maybe RTAI), and some sensor nodes (something like 12, but could vary a lot). These sensor nodes are basically composed by a DSP/MCU/DSC (not the same one on every node) and some sensors and actuators. The sensors can be anything so i will not give any fixed description, but a good example would be a Brushless motor (with the control routine inside the MCU/DSC), and 4 to 5 sensors with a max sample rate of 2ksps. Basicaly the PC/104+ should get all the data from sensor nodes (the MCU will handle the communication on the node side) perform some processing and send back some reference to the actuators control routine. The whole system should work with a 500us period. The max acceptable latency between the PC/104 ask for the data and the reception should be 100us, and the maximum latency for the actuators command should be 70us (bewtween teh pc104 send and the node receive). From all the commercial standard availables, all i could find was Ethercat and Firewire, that have a chance to handle this communication..Any idea? Just a final comment. The system should have the minimum amount of cables possible and the max distance between the PC104 and the nodes is 3m.


The ida it is to use something in the range of PIC32 to TI C2000, but i want to leave the possibility to use a more simple MCU (accepting that it would slow down the system). But i dont want to use any Wireless comunication becouse i need a good reliability on this system, and i cant belive any wireless system could provide my Real Time Requirements... 100us is for a round read, and not a single node...

Thank you!

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