Abstract: This paper presents a Fast Ethernet based network control server, developed for a spine surgery telerobotic system. This device is composed of several modules, which need to share information in real-time. In these systems, usually, each module communicates directly with all the other units. Such a data transfer philosophy is very time consuming in terms of software development; in fact, in order to add a new module the whole software needs to be rearranged or sometimes rewritten. Moreover, data transmission between modules cannot be monitored.
With the aim of solving these problems, a new network control server was introduced, which manages all data transfer from/to the modules. In fact, each module communicates only with the server, but can retrieve any kind of data regarding the whole system. Moreover, the control server module can easily perform calculations on incoming data before sending them to the clients. A new, very simple communication protocol was introduced, in which every module asks the server the required data and sends to the server its own data. As a result, by simply defining new data types, system functionalities can be expanded very quickly. Furthermore, new clients can be added to the system without the need of modifying previously defined modules.