Guaranteeing isochronous control of networked motion control systems using phase offset adjustment

Ikhwan Kim, Taehyoun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Guaranteeing isochronous transfer of control commands is an essential function for networked motion control systems. The adoption of real-time Ethernet (RTE) technologies may be profitable in guaranteeing deterministic transfer of control messages. However, unpredictable behavior of software in the motion controller often results in unexpectedly large deviation in control message transmission intervals, and thus leads to imprecise motion. This paper presents a simple and efficient heuristic to guarantee the end-to-end isochronous control with very small jitter. The key idea of our approach is to adjust the phase offset of control message transmission time in the motion controller by investigating the behavior of motion control task. In realizing the idea, we performed a pre-runtime analysis to determine a safe and reliable phase offset and applied the phase offset to the runtime code of motion controller by customizing an open-source based integrated development environment (IDE). We also constructed an EtherCAT-based motion control system testbed and performed extensive experiments on the testbed to verify the effectiveness of our approach. The experimental results show that our heuristic is highly effective even for low-end embedded controller implemented in open-source software components under various configurations of control period and the number of motor drives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13945-13965
Number of pages21
Issue number6
StatePublished - 12 Jun 2015


  • EtherCAT
  • Isochronous control
  • Networked motion control systems
  • Open source software
  • Phase offset adjustment


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