EtherCat support

As the fastest growing protocol for motion, robotics and industrial control it would be nice to have it inside the VL world. Nugets are available but as usual it is a bit overwhelming trying to patch something together at that level.


I don’t know what it is, but I approve this message…


@io I am interested, never heard before for EtherCAT. How it can be tested? Is there need of physical a device?

Hallo, to make it dead simple EtherCat is to Rtu/Modbus or direct control what Artnet/Sacn is to DMX, get an ageing protocol and encapsulate into a “modern” network stream, which can be used on long run Ethernet cables.
In the beginning only a few company adhered to the protocol, mainly for CNC milling and routing machines, therefore the cost for a servo/stepper controller were on the thousands of euros but now I can see more and more low cost options, arduino shields, drivers, etc.
Basically you only need a double Ethernet port in a PC to act as a master and directly to the drivers, or use dedicated gateways.

More info :

EtherCat shield : EtherCAT® and Arduino

Ethercat Nuget: NuGet Gallery | EtherCAT.NET (installs nicely in VL)

@io which means that this could be tested with an arduino shield in terms of simplicity in a home studio ?

Isn’t it over-complicated? Almost any application you can think of can be replaced with conventional Ethernet using almost the same hardware. EtherCAT was designed for real-time system environments with microsecond delays and many kHz updates.

Don’t get me wrong, I can imagine a large-scale installation using this technology, but I can’t see why it would be needed in the general public. Seems like it’s a very unique application leading to a unique development.

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