case study

R2 Labs Presents RAC: An Industry-Agnostic Controller

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R2 Labs: democratizing robotics and industrial automation with Arduino

R2 Labs: democratizing robotics and industrial automation with Arduino

Manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare, and more: each industry needs specific robots and specific solutions to run and control them. But “Robotics for the Real World” provider R2 Labs, based in the United States, has set out to change that.

R2 Labs’ goal is to make modern automation equipment systems more accessible by providing today’s software engineers with a tool that makes interaction and control easier, regardless of the specific application. 

Successful projects – such as the development of an AI-powered agricultural robot for Padma AgRobotics with Arduino products – encouraged the team to pursue a combination of versatility and customization, making the range of applications they can tackle almost limitless. 

Clear Requirements to Lower Barriers

Wanting to create a “general-purpose controller”, R2 Labs knew it had to be programmable with modern languages, extensible, and have the computational power to manage motor control, I/O control, machine vision, and more. They decided to keep exploring with Arduino Pro hardware to find an innovative solution that would be open-source, extensible without vendor lock-in, and capable of providing a host of common functionalities customers need in almost any autonomy application.

With these requirements in mind and previous positive experience using Arduino microcontrollers, R2 Labs decided to develop their project with the Portenta Machine Control. This allowed them to cut down on time-to-market and quickly integrate robust, industrial-grade features – from the dual-core processor that allows for the segmentation of critical sections, to CAN bus support.

Unlocking Opportunities for All, with Open Source

Instead of spending huge internal resources on developing their own control unit or going through complex sales processes, by partnering with Arduino R2 Labs immediately gained access to support, documentation, and high-quality products tested by a community of millions.

“We achieved exactly what we were aiming for: a solution well-suited for both modern robotics and industrial automation applications. Thanks to the Portenta Machine Control’s advanced features and Arduino’s prompt support, we can now enable any software engineer to tackle a broad range of applications and solve challenges that are common to most control systems,” says CEO Roby Lynn, who co-founded R2 Labs with Sulisay Phonekeo and Rebecca Peterson.

Meet RAC: A Paradigm Shift in Control Systems

R2 Labs’ vision led to the launch of the RAC, a fully integrated ROS 2-native autonomy control solution that supports multi-axis motion control and is able to easily interface with a wide range of sensors and actuators. The device simplifies development with an array of digital and analog I/O, advanced vision processing, and standard connectivity (HDMI, Ethernet, USB). It allows users to effortlessly program with Python® and C++ and control/manage the project with the included interactive web HMI. 

All in all, the RAC is a game-changing product for control and monitoring – both in robotics and industrial automation applications. The Arduino Portenta Machine Control is the brain of this brilliant solution to make Industry 4.0 and 5.0 accessible to software engineers, ready to tackle any specific application they may need.

Creating New Solutions for Modern Robotics and Control

With a clear vision of the challenges in their field, R2 Labs is committed to creating modern robotics and control system solutions that champion flexibility and ease of use.

Pairing professional expertise with outside-the-box thinking, the company is now ready to tackle bigger deployments, new customers, and different industries. Choosing open source is key to this growth path, allowing them to expand their portfolio by focusing on the work they do without constraints.