The industry leader of customized and standardized embedded computer modules and boards, Congatec, recently brought forth a virtualized embedded computing platform that simplifies hardware consolidation between PLC and UI. The hexapod robot that you see playing a piano on the demo platform runs on a virtualized GUI based on Microsoft Windows 10; CODESYS SoftPLC working on real-time VxWorksOS with IEC 61131-3 compliance; the best hypervisor technology in the industry with Real-Time Systems (RTS); and a standard embedded hardware platform from Congatec.
The Congatec and RTS virtualized embedded computing platform’s logic has all elements that are required for controlling movement system in a cross-platform and modular capable format. This virtualized embedded computing platform’s demo controller stays in touch with three servo motors of hexapod. As for pressing the piano keys, it is programmed to do that. The Graphical User Interface (GUI) of virtualized embedded computing platform is executed by Microsoft Windows and looks more like a jukebox. Here, on demo platform, it is used for selecting music that you want the robot to play for you. In case, you wish to see how the real-time OS from Microsoft runs in parallel, one can always reboot GUI while the robot continues to play piano.
Fig.1 : The Hexapod Robot Playing Piano On Demo Platform
( Image Source )
According to the director of product management at Congatec, Martin Danzer, “The combination of Congatec hardware and RTS hypervisor technology creates an embedded computing platform for smart motion controllers that OEM customers can leverage to achieve very fast time to market as both the hardware building blocks and the SoftPLC are standards based, industry proven, modular, cross-platform capable components ready for installation; plus the hypervisor supports all common RTOS and general purpose operating system (GPOS) combinations OEMs might need.”
It can really be quite beneficial for OEMs as its powerful and solid foundation would be greatly helpful for their real-time control logic. The basic building blocks of this platform have been verified to work seamlessly with each others. The credits for this optimized interaction between hypervisor and hardware can be given to the acquisition of RTS by Congatec.
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