Today is finally the day that our EtherCAT Arduino Shield by Esmacat (EASE) campaign will go live! We have been looking forward to this day for a few months now, and we couldn’t be more excited about sending EASE into the world.
We at Esmacat specialize in EtherCAT technology and believe that everyone deserves access to this high-performance communication framework, whether they’re working on a simple home automation project or an industrial robotics application. As a popular technology used by many creators – from elementary school students to professional engineers and beyond – the Arduino platform represents a perfect opportunity to spread the word about EtherCAT. This belief motivated us to create an Arduino shield that will expand the potential of the platform and inspire its users while simultaneously introducing a whole new world of high-performance technology to those who have not yet had the experience of working with EtherCAT.
We say the words "Arduino shield" a lot these days, because EASE works perfectly with Arduino boards (such as the DUE, the Mega, and of course the Uno itself) that have an Arduino Uno form factor. But EASE works just as well with STM Nucleo 64s, STM Nucleo 144s, Ruggeduinos, and the various Arduino clones you might find on eBay. EASE and the baseboard to which it is attached exchange data packets over SPI, which is universal across many different MCU boards, not just Arduinos. In other words, EASE connects Arduino boards, Arduino-like boards, and Arduino shields to produce one big, happy, integrated system for your application.
Throughout our campaign, we aim to produce lots of supporting material, including tutorials and demos that show how easy it is to incorporate EASE into your projects. We believe this supporting material will also help demonstrate the various ways in which EASE is superior to its competitors.
EASE runs the EtherCAT software on the shield itself, for example, whereas other EtherCAT Arduino shields require that resource-intensive EtherCAT software be loaded onto the Arduino, which tends to impair performance due to the board’s limited computational power. This aspect of our design allows you to develop high-performance applications for the EASE-Arduino subsystem. You will see examples of such applications in the updates we will release during the campaign.
We would like to thank those of you who have supported us along the way and welcome those of you who are new to the project. This is just the beginning for EASE, and we cannot wait to see how far it will go! Feel free to check out our website or learn more about us at www.harmonicbinoics.com. We also have a Hackster.io page where we plan to post some of our EASE projects. Once EASE is shipped, come join us on Hackster.io and show us what you can do with it!
The Esmacat Team