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Introducing the XEL Network : Modular H/W ecosystem over ROS2

ros2

#1

Hi!

I have brought new project news related to ROS2.
The name of this project is XEL Network

"XEL" is a word derived from the robot actuator “DYNAMIXEL” and uses the characteristics of DYNAMIXEL communication.

The main concept of this project is to standardize it so that robot hardware can be configured more easily using the features of DDS used in ROS2.

The GOALS of this project are as follows.

  • Generalization of Software Mechanism in Robot Development with Embedded Technology.
  • Complete open source hardware.
  • Simpler and easier robot development through the above goals.

The main FEATURES of this are as follows.

  • Support ROS2(DDS using microRTPS)
  • Plug And Play
  • Daisy chain connection

And our ROADMAP is as follows.

  • Support ROS2 (Publisher and subscriber are implemented)
  • Plug And Play (Implemented using the DYNAMIXEL protocol. Additional supplement needed.)
  • More sophisticated real-time performance.
  • Supports various message types.
  • Support GUI program (XEL Manager)
  • Support IDE likes Arduino for user customizing.
  • Support multi topics on one device. (Currently, only one topic per one is possible.)

What has been developed so far is only a simple function, and it requires a lot of function addition, stabilization and optimization.

But, as one of our goals is a complete open source hardware, we would like to develop it with anyone interested in this project. So I post this here that this project is there and it has progressed to this extent.

Here are the GitHub repositories that are currently open.

For more information on this project, please refer to the following wiki document.

We specially thanks to ROS2 developers and ROS community and eProsima developers.


#2

This is very cool, thanks for sharing @Kei. Good to see some additional effort in hardware modularity within the ROS ecosystem. Specially one powered by microcontrollers. I encourage you guys to look at HRIM. We are working with a variety of partners to facilitate hardware interoperability and your contributions will be more than welcome.

Also, this is extremely aligned to the OFERA EU project and I’m looking forward to see further collaborations between your group and ours.


#3

Sounds nice! In order to connect to a broad range of more high-level robotics components you might also have a look at RobMoSys. They even have an open call opening this February that could fund efforts to integrate your components in the ecosystem.


#4

Hi, @vmayoral,
I was also very interested in micro-ROS.
Personally, just like ROS has set the standard for robot development, I hope that a standard will be created for embedded. So, I hope that projects like XEL Network and micro-ROS will contribute positively in this respect.

Hi, @Bouke,
Sounds nice! Thank you for your sharing!


#5

Great work :smile:

How dependent is this on the dynamixel protocol? Of course the hardware is, but do the message also contain specifics? btw, which messages are you using?

Apropos, @vmayoral already mentioned HRIM, which is their proposal on meta-data describing hardware (at least that’s how I understood it :slight_smile:). I’ve also seen other work which uses a big YAML file with meta-data. Interoperability and pluggability would greatly benefit if the community could agree on this. How about a meeting on this at the ROSCon?