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View Full Version : [Question(s)] Can I use Robotis Dynamixel SDK to control dynamixels connected to CM-510



nsmoly
05-07-2012, 04:32 PM
Hello,

Question about Bioloid's Dynamixel SDK (C++) from Robotis (could not find it on their site and no one from support is helping) :
Can I use Dynamixel SDK C++ functions to control dynamixels that are connected to CM-510 which is connected to PC via a serial link and USB2Dynamixel switched to RS232 mode? Essentially, the setup is PC->USB2Dynamixel->CM-510->dynamixels
I tried Robotis Read-Write code samples for Dyanmixel SDK and even though CM-510 blinks like it receives packets, the actuators are not moving. The RoboPlus Manager can control dynamixels with the same setup running on my PC.

Thanks
Nick

tician
05-07-2012, 04:50 PM
There actually are several posts about exactly this on their support site, but their search function is kinda crap. Here is aprendiendo's first post on the topic (http://www.robotis.com/xe/?mid=qna_en&search_keyword=toss&search_target=comment&document_srl=22018), here is someone getting confused about aprendiendo's code and how Robotis does it (http://www.robotis.com/xe/?mid=qna_en&search_keyword=toss&search_target=comment&document_srl=107709), here is aprendiendo stating how to put a CM-5 into 'toss'/'manage' mode (not sure if his firmware or Robotis') (http://www.robotis.com/xe/?mid=qna_en&search_keyword=toss&search_target=comment&document_srl=111512) and here is aprendiendo's later explanation and link to his firmware (http://www.robotis.com/xe/?mid=qna_en&search_keyword=toss&search_target=comment&document_srl=103939). The actual way in which the firmware on the CM-5/510/530/700 permits RoboPlus Manager to control the dynamixel bus is entirely undocumented and unsupported by Robotis as stated in the second link.

nsmoly
05-08-2012, 03:40 AM
Thank you Tician!

Putting cm-510 to toss mode worked (at least in c#). Although native c code from aprendiendo's site has problems when switching to this mode.

Does anyone know if standard Robotis firmware also has a special mode for reading gyro sensor values? or the only way to go is the custom firmware (aprendiendo's)

Seems like Robotis is a bad company - to sell 1200$ kit and NOT to support officially PC link to the controller is kind of a joke probably. Already wasted too much time on this thing. Next time I will buy some other kit. any suggestions on alternatives?

DresnerRobotics
05-08-2012, 05:58 PM
Seems like Robotis is a bad company - to sell 1200$ kit and NOT to support officially PC link to the controller is kind of a joke probably. Already wasted too much time on this thing. Next time I will buy some other kit. any suggestions on alternatives?

Haha, you're cute.

Good luck finding anyone even close to this level out of the box.

Any serious developer is writing their own code and/or using their own controller. The software provided by Robotis is essentially aimed at the hobby market.

tician
05-08-2012, 08:52 PM
Does anyone know if standard Robotis firmware also has a special mode for reading gyro sensor values? or the only way to go is the custom firmware (aprendiendo's)
The gyros are on the analog inputs and I know RoboPlus Manager can access them, but you will need to snoop the RS-232 UART connection to figure out how to do it. If you don't have a logic analyzer, you might be able to use just a microcontroller with multiple UARTs and a buffer IC or RS-232 transceiver (one UART to send the snooped data to the PC and two to snoop the TXD and RXD lines of the RS-232 UART - may be able to use software based UARTs if the micro is fast enough).


Good luck finding anyone even close to this level out of the box.

Any serious developer is writing their own code and/or using their own controller. The software provided by Robotis is essentially aimed at the hobby market.
QFFT.


Seems like Robotis is a bad company - to sell 1200$ kit and NOT to support officially PC link to the controller is kind of a joke probably. Already wasted too much time on this thing. Next time I will buy some other kit. any suggestions on alternatives?
As Tyberius stated, "You want more than they make available, write it yourself." Aprendiendo has given you a hell of a start, and Robotis released embedded-c libraries for the CM-510/700 and CM-530 specifically for the more advanced users. It is not that difficult to make some simple firmware with the Robotis libraries to read the pertinent registers of all dynamixels on the bus and all analog ports before sending it over the RS-232 UART to the PC. Hell, look at the gallery and you can download additional ease of use functions (http://www.robotis.com/xe/gallery_en/112764) for both the CM-510 and CM-530 to read the analog ports, the buttons, and the mic and to control the LEDs and buzzer (files include the Robotis supplied dynamixel, zigbee, and PC-UART/RS-233-UART libraries).

nsmoly
05-21-2012, 08:09 PM
Thanks to Aprendiendo's site, I made it working in C++ as well. I can now control my Bioloid dynamixels via CM-510 from PC. I documented most of it here - http://nsmoly.wordpress.com/2012/05/20/controlling-bioloid-from-pc/ in one place. Hope it helps other people.

siempre.aprendiendo
05-28-2012, 04:19 PM
I'm glad these examples help you. You can find two links to zips with working examples at http://www.softwaresouls.com/2011/11/23/practical-c-programming-tutorial-for-bioloid-robots/ (http://softwaresouls.com/softwaresouls/2011/11/23/practical-c-programming-tutorial-for-bioloid-robots/) I just fixed the broken links, sorry!