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View Full Version : [Question(s)] Getting started with USB servo controllers.



EyeRobot
12-19-2009, 10:26 AM
Totally new in the robotics field, please forgive and try not to laugh to loud at my questions. I'm looking at the USB servo controller market and need advice on the best controller to start with. I can program C++ and Java and from what I can tell C# looks a lot like Java and maybe relatively easy to pick up. There is a huge number of devices out there and I don't want to start my project and have to switch horses in the middle of the stream so to speak. I would like to control servos via USB.

MikeG
12-19-2009, 11:18 AM
There a whole bunch of servo controller on the market. I use this guy
http://www.parallax.com/Store/Accessories/MotorServoControllers/tabid/160/List/1/ProductID/595/Default.aspx?SortField=ProductName%2cProductName

I'm a fan of Parallax but I'm sure others will put in their 2 cents.

Language does not matter... If you know how to open a serial port (virtual) and send the published commands... well your good to go.

gdubb2
12-19-2009, 11:24 AM
You didn't mention how many servos you wanted to control.

I would seriously consider the SSC-32. They can control 32 servos, and are very easy to use. Although it uses a serial connection, I've been using one with a USB-serial converter and love it. One can also use wireless communication via Xbee or Bluetooth easily.

Good luck
Gary

EyeRobot
12-19-2009, 11:52 AM
Thanks for the replys.
I probably will only need 6 or 8 servos to start with. The environment can't handle any extra radio noise so it has to be 'drive by wire'. The control computer itself is wireless. I'm leaning toward Phigets because of their large variety of robotic components. Are they easy to work with?

darkback2
12-19-2009, 12:48 PM
phidgets are dead easy to work with, but get pricy pretty quickly.

I still use a phidget 8/8/8 and a phidget 0/0/4...I'm looking to get the phidget single board computer also.

As for servo controllers, you can get more for less b not going with the phidget. Using the SSC-32 with a usb to serial adaptor is dead easy, and works like a charm. The SSC-32 can also store "poses" that you can play through which makes it a wonderful controller. It also will allow you to expand your projects in ways that you just can't with a phidget servo controller. Lets just say I went really far down that road before I learned my lesson.

Check out squidword (http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/showthread.php?t=3100) and charlie. They are both PC based bots that use the SSC-32 as their servo controller.

I hope this helps.

DB

EyeRobot
12-20-2009, 09:42 PM
Thanks for the heads up DB, and btw nice robot!