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powerlink on ROS

asked 2014-10-25 07:52:47 -0500

RunFast3k gravatar image

updated 2014-10-27 04:16:33 -0500

gvdhoorn gravatar image

hi at all,

i wanna connect my industrial robot via Powerlink to my Laptop, which works as ROS-Master and provides the motion plans. So my question is, is there already a Powerlink interface existing? Or have somebody experience with industrial networks on ROS especially Powerlink? Or is it possible to use the Simple Message on Powerlink?

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answered 2014-10-26 03:26:21 -0500

gvdhoorn gravatar image

updated 2014-10-26 06:13:55 -0500

Short answer: no, afaik, no (publicly available) interfaces to Powerlink networks exist for ROS(-Industrial).


Longer: I don't know of any publicly available nodes for interfacing with Powerlink networks. It would be a nice addition to ROS-Industrial though, as it would make it possible to interface with any Powerlink compatible devices / actuators, and a number of currently unsupported robots that provide Powerlink interfaces.

If you have an actual programmable (embedded) controller running at the other end of your Powerlink connection, you could theoretically implement a simple_message server application and use the Simple Message protocol for everything (and only use Powerlink as your transport, instead of TCP/IP). Using simple_message over Powerlink was not something that was considered when the protocol was first designed, but could be done.

I think though, that it would make more sense to create a Powerlink interfacing node (bridge) for specific devices on your network (similar to how the ronex, ROS Ethercat (using soem) and the various ROS CAN wrappers work). As soon as you have access to your encoders and actuators though such a (set if) ROS node(s), you could then control them from a ros_control controller, or something similar. That could then be accessible to other parts of ROS, such as MoveIt.

Another approach could be to create OROCOS components, which could then also be integrated with ROS.


You might want to send a message to the ROS-Industrial mailing list about this as well. Perhaps someone has implemented something, but hasn't announced it yet. If you are interested in creating something yourself, I'm sure there will be other interested members, which could potentially support you.

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answered 2014-10-25 22:26:20 -0500

tfoote gravatar image

There are several packages for interfacing with Schunk robots. The first one I found searching the ROS wiki is: http://wiki.ros.org/schunk_modular_ro...

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Tully, are you perhaps confusing PowerCube with PowerLink?

gvdhoorn gravatar imagegvdhoorn ( 2014-10-26 02:59:40 -0500 )edit

Sorry, I assumed the PowerCubes talked over PowerLink. See @gvdhoorn's answer.

tfoote gravatar imagetfoote ( 2014-10-26 14:35:38 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2014-10-25 07:52:47 -0500

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Last updated: Oct 26 '14