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Introduction

STEP is linux embedded controller and uses Linux/Xenomai kernel which is hard realtime OS for real-time control. PlatformSDK is a software framework that enables development of system interface and application program using STEP. Using PlatformSDK, developers can easily make their own linux embedded real-time control applications in MS Windows environment.

STEP

STEP is integrated with EtherLab, which has been proven open-source EtherCAT master stack for many systems, for multi-axes synchronized high-speed realtime distributed control. Development of standard EtherCAT based realtime cotrol applications is supported by CoE (CANopen-over-EtherCAT) protocol based programming interface. Legacy devices with RS485 or CAN interfaces can be connected for standard ports.

Neuromeka provide two types of STEP.

  • STEP2: EtherCAT master PC that provides multi-axes synchronized high-speed realtime distributed control.
  • STEP3: High performance model for advanced research purpose. EtherCAT master PC with high performance NVIDIA GPU card and TensorRT library. It enables developing system that integrates high-speed deep learning inference, EtherCAT communication, and real time control.

Note

STEP2 and STEP3 ensure 4kHz and 8kHz control rate, respectively, including computing inverse kinematics and dynamics of 6-DOF robot manipulator. Please refer to detailed specification of STEP in https://www.neuromeka.com/controller.

Also, STEP provide various IO ports and related API (Please refer to STEP communication)

  • GPIO 16 pin (STEP3 not provided)

  • RS422 1 port, RS485 1 port 1

  • Fieldbus interface: CAN 1 port, Ethernet 1 port for EtherCAT

  • Ethernet 1 port for network connection


IO port configuration of STEP


    Port
    Description
    Read/Write
    GPIO/LPT (16 pins)
  • Change direction
  • Input voltage: 0-5V
  • Output voltage: 0-5V
    • R/W
      CAN (1 port)
  • Bit rate: 1Mbps
  • Support CAN 2.0B
  • Isolated transceivers
  • Support realtime driver
    • R/W
      RS485 (1 port)
  • Support high-speed USART Module
  • Maximum 1.5Mbps baudrate
    • R/W
      COM (2 ports)
  • RS232 COM1, COM2
  • Maximum 230400 baudrate
    • R/W

    PlatformSDK

    NRMKPlatform SDK is a powerful development environment for embedded realtime applications providing a complete tool-chain running directly on Windows.


    Eclipse is provided as main programming IDE. Also, following linux-based realtime control tool, and various CDT (C/C++ Development Tools) are provided.

    • GNU cross compiler for i686 target in Cygwin

    • Real-time Kernel Libraries: Xenomai (Real-time)

    • Prebuilt Etherlab EtherCAT master

    • Third-party libraries for NRMKFoundation including Eigen, Poco, etc.

    • Online debugger via SSH for STEP

    • Direct execution/downloading binary files to STEP


    Components of PlatformSDK to develop STEP application


    1. RS485 port cannot be used in blue cover STEP2. Please refer to RS485 port setting