uTosNet Framework :: Overview
Other project properties
uTosNet (pronounced microTosNet) is developed at the University of Southern Denmark ( http://www.sdu.dk ), and is intended to:
- Reduce the development time of experimental robotic controllers to arrive faster and cheaper at fully working demonstrations of new technology and concepts.
- Increase the reusability of experimental systems and components, thus increasing the life-span and utilization of these, and reducing the amount of redundant work.
- Ease the use of interacting with experimental low-level controller, to open experimental robotics up to a wider audience, and to allow high-level developers a tighter integration with the physical robots, without involving them in the low-level particulars of embedded systems.
Also have a look at TosNet for the full-blown, multi-node version of TosNet.
- Simon Falsig
University of Southern Denmark
The uTosNet framework aims at providing a very fast method for interfacing physical components, such as motor drivers, ADCs, encoders, and similar, to applications on a PC.
The framework is based on the Node-on-Chip architecture (link to paper coming).
It works by utilizing a dual-port BlockRam in the FPGA, with one port exposed to access from the PC (through uTosNet) and the other port exposed to access from user-defined modules. This allows easy and generic storage of process variables.
Currently two versions of uTosNet are supported:
- PC side USB converter chip UART FPGA
- PC side Ethernet Digi Connect ME 9210 microcontroller module SPI FPGA
Note that the UART version does NOT include an implementation of a UART. It has however been prepared for use with the UART implementation from the PicoBlaze processor, which is available as a free download from Xilinx here.
Currently, the following files are available for download from the project SVN server:
- uTosNet userguide
- Embedix Spartan3AN-50 documentation
- FPGA-side code for uTosNet (except the uart functionality itself)
- USB/RS232 example
- Ethernet/SPI example
- uTosNet UART controller example
- PCB design files for a very simple FPGA board based on the Spartan3 50AN, and an add-on board with extra connectors, leds, the USB/UART converter chip and the Digi Connect ME 9210 module.
- A simple commandline application for use with the Ethernet/SPI version (a simple terminal emulation program, such as PuTTY or HyperTerminal, can be used with the USB/UART version)
- C++ source code for the Ethernet version, for use with the Digi ME 9210