Service robots special interest group established

CAN in Automation established the CANopen SIG for service robots, standardizing the mapping of the RTC specification to CANopen network technology.


CAN in Automation (CiA) has established the CANopen SIG (Special Interest Group) for service robots. Several Japanese research institutes and companies have reportedly participated in the inaugural meeting, which took place in Tokyo. It was agreed to standardize the mapping of the RTC (Robot Technology Component) specification to CANopen network technology. This would allow service robot manufacturers to make easy use of off-the-shelf CANopen devices such as motion controllers and sensors. The robot application software will call RTC functions (middleware). The CANopen details are hidden to the software engineer. This would simplify software development and would allow reuse of already existing RTC programs. The RTC specification has been developed by the nonprofit OMG (Object Management Group).

The scope of the SIG includes also the development and maintenance of recommended practices for existing CANopen profiles to be used in service robot applications (e.g. CiA 402 motion controllers, CiA 404 sensors, CiA 406 encoders, CiA 418/9 batteries and chargers). If necessary, the SIG will develop and maintain dedicated CANopen profiles for service robot sub-systems such as grippers or multi-axes controllers. Interested parties in this standardization activity should contact the nonprofit CiA association (headquarters(at)

CAN in Automation

- Edited by Amanda McLeman, Control Engineering,

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