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I/O expansion card

With optional inertial measurement unit

Roboteq (USA) has introduced the I/O Extender (Riox) module. It is an I/O expansion card with an optional inertial measurement unit. It integrates with Roboteq motor controllers.

(Photo: Roboteq)

THE INTERTIAL MEASUREMENT UNIT (IMU) is also known as an AHRS, which stands for attitude and heading reference system. The card is intended for use in robotics navigation, unmanned vehicles, machine control, industrial automation, and any other application that needs interfacing to the real world. The module integrates with PCs via its USB interface, or with PLCs via its CAN or EIA-485 interface. Riox also directly interfaces with most single board computers, such as Aduino, Raspberry PI, or Beagle Boards. The product measures 140 mm x 70 mm x 18 mm, weighs 100g, and comes with an operating temperature of -40 °C to +85 °C. It can drive, or be driven, by all Roboteq motor controllers.

The module includes a 32-bit ARM MCU for processing and buffering the I/Os, and managing the communication with the host PC/PLC/SBC, motor controllers and/or other components of the system. The processor can be configured to perform, on its own, a long list of conversion, capture, filtering, or conditioning on the I/Os. The ARM processor also reads the three-axis accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, and performs the fusion algorithm in the AHRS version of the Riox.

A basic-like programming language is built into the card and allows users to write programs that process the I/O in real time. The module therefore can also be used as a stand-alone similarly to a PLC. The module features 12 inputs, each of which can be individually configured as digital, 0 V to 5 V analog, or as pulse inputs. In the pulse mode, the inputs can capture pulse width, frequency, duty cycle, or quadrature encoder counts. Each input pin can also be configured as a driver for RC servos or as interface for ultrasound distance sensors.

The module has 16 digital outputs capable of driving resistive loads such as lights, or inductive loads such as relay, solenoids or motors up to 1 A each at 40 V. Each output can be used as an input as well. The product uses screw terminals to ensure insertion and removal while providing a most reliable connection, says the company.

The module’s firmware can be updated in the field to take advantage of new features as they become available. The card is available now at $ 175 and $ 295 in the basic and AHRS version respectively.

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