Renesas teams for micro-ROS framework

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By Nick Flaherty

Renesas Electronics has teamed up with eProsima in Madrid, Spain, on a development kit for the micro-ROS robot operating system.

The Renesas EK-RA6M5 Evaluation Kit for RA MCUs is the official supported hardware platform of the micro-ROS development framework for professional robotics with middleware from eProsima.

The micro-ROS framework allows a standardized integration of MCUs into the Robot Operating System (ROS) 2 data space. It provides an established application development framework based on standard communication middleware to the embedded world. Porting micro-ROS into the Renesas RA MCUs facilitates the adoption of this robotic framework in Industry 4.0 and Industrial IoT applications. The Renesas e2 studio integrated development environment, which will run on Windows, as well as Linux-based computers, will support the micro-ROS implementation, simplifying the process of using the micro-ROS client library.

The Renesas Advanced (RA) Family of 32bit ARM Cortex-M MCUs with security, connectivity and peripheral IP to address the next generation of embedded solutions. These already run the Microsoft Azure RTOS and Amazon FreeRTOS, making the family suitable for cloud-connected micro-ROS implementations.

“Robotics is becoming increasingly important as Industry 4.0 and Industrial IoT gain steam,” said Roger Wendelken, Senior Vice President in the IoT and Infrastructure Business Unit at Renesas. “The performance and feature set of the RA Family make it the best choice for robotic applications, and we’re pleased to work with eProsima to deliver solutions to our diverse customer base.”

“Achieving cost-effective development depends on a common platform around which hardware and software providers emerge,” said Jaime Martin Losa, CEO of eProsima. “micro-ROS represents the tool that bridges the gap between microcontrollers and ROS 2, expanding the scope of new robotic applications based on embedded devices.”

Renesas has developed a ROS-based Robot Body Controller reference design that shows the RA6M5’s implementation of micro-ROS, complemented by other Renesas components.

The micro-ROS hardware support is divided into officially supported boards and community supported boards. Support for micro-ROS in the RA MCUs is available in Renesas’ EK-RA6M5 evaluation kit, now the officially supported micro-ROS hardware platform.

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