EtherCAT Arduino Shield by Esmacat (EASE)
Connect Arduino Boards, Other MCU Boards, and Shields with EASE!
EASE is an EtherCAT Arduino Shield developed by Esmacat to connect the larger Arduino ecosystem and other MCU boards capable of connecting a shield with an Arduino Uno form factor. EASE can easily turn an MCU board, including the Arduino ecosystem, into a cost-efficient EtherCAT slave subsystem in the larger EtherCAT system. Using EtherCAT communication, EASE can reliably communicate with other base boards through an EtherCAT master. This includes sending/receiving data from one base board board to another base board. For example, you can go simple like using one base board to measure the temperature outside to change the color of an LED or go advanced like controlling multiple large scale robotics to manufacture products. For whatever your application is, EASE is the perfect way to not only get into the world of EtherCAT, but to also connect multiple base boards to increase the scale of your MCU based projects!
EASE connects Arduino boards, Arduino-like boards, and Arduino Shields for large-scale applications.
High speed communication (200Mbps, 200x faster than CAN bus) is supported with EtherCAT which is an industrial-standard fieldbus for automation.
The EtherCAT hardware/software is present only on EASE so there is no performance lost on the MCU base board.
EASE has the form factor of Arduino Uno, and thus can take the advantage of the Arduino ecosystem.
Daisy chain connection between multiple EASEs simplifies the topology of wiring.
Power-over-EtherCAT (POE) technology reduces the number of required wires and power outlets.
The data packet between Arduino Board and EASE is communicated via SPI, allowing EASE to be compatible with many different types of boards including Arduino boards and Mbed boards.
Arduino and Mbed library allow users to easily develop code between the base board and EASE within minutes.
Incorporating EASE Into Your Project
As an Arduino shield, EASE can easily be attached to compatible base boards through its Arduino Uno form factor female pin headers.
EASE requires an EtherCAT master to use EASE's EtherCAT capabilities. In between the first EtherCAT slave, whether it is EASE or any other EtherCAT slave, should be a 24V POE injector to power all connected EtherCAT slaves and to transmit data.
EASE is already included as a slave in our EtherCAT master software, but for any EtherCAT master needing the EtherCAT Slave Information (ESI) file for EASE can be found at this link.
Esmacat provides EtherCAT master software to transmit data to EASE through a daisy-chain topology filled with Ethernet cables from an EtherCAT master. Our open-source master software can be found on our Software page. We also have small, compact, high-performance computers (Esmacat Master S and C) for sale already preset with our Master software. EASE also works with any other EtherCAT master software as a generic EtherCAT slave.
Arduino IDE or other programming environment for the MCU base board
This is needed to program the base board for SPI communication between the base board and EASE. Esmacat created an Arduino library and Mbed library for simple coding with EASE. The user can simply send/receive data to the Esmacat master through our developed library functions.