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Thread: Arbotix Pro ROS support

  1. #1
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    Arbotix Pro ROS support

    Hi all,

    will there be ROS-support for the upcoming Arbotix Pro?
    And will the Arbotix-M disappear if Arbotix Pro is out?

    MC

  2. #2

    Re: Arbotix Pro ROS support

    I don't know about #1. When I asked #2 a while back, the answer was "no" because the Pro isn't intended for hobbyist direct programming, but instead to be used as a fixed piece of kit like a CM-730.

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    Re: Arbotix Pro ROS support

    ok, let's wait and see.

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    Re: Arbotix Pro ROS support

    As I understand it, the arbotix-pro is intended to be hardware and firmware compatible with the CM-730. This means you could use the existing CM-730 source files from the DARwIn-OP/21CRobotics frameworks to figure out how to interface with the CM-730 and use that to build a node to publish collected servos/sensors states and subscribe to goal positions (and LED colors/states). I don't recall anyone having has done this yet, but it should not be too difficult to just copy the CM-730 specific files and then stuff calls to the useful functions into a ROS node polling servos for their present positions and writing their new goal positions.
    Please pardon the pedantry... and the profanity... and the convoluted speech pattern...
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    Re: Arbotix Pro ROS support

    Do you mean something like a customized firmware with ROS-bindings or another stack on top of the default CM-730 firmware
    communictating over usb to outside and over firmware to inside? Like a replacement of DARwIn-OP_ROBOTIS_v1.6.0 or DARwIn-OP/21CRobotics?

    I could imagine a ROS-nodes-stack on top of the CM-730 firmware. This would also imply that the new stack should run on a CM-530.
    Eeeh, yes, that's what I ever wanted. Don't change hardware just put a ROS-connector and play :-). I'm in if it's possible and not too much work.

    So what makes the Arbotix Pro without ROS Support different from a CM-730 or other CMs?

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    Re: Arbotix Pro ROS support

    I mean not touching the CM-730 at all. The CM-730 basically takes everything from USB over one UART and dumps it out to another where the servos are connected, then sends back any responses (plus its own response if anything is requested from the CM-730). The CM730/MX28 source files basically handle all dynamixel packet building specific to the MX-28 and CM-730 hardware using the CM-730 default firmware. Just copying the CM730 and MX28 header and source files from the framework and modifying CM730.h/cpp a bit to remove some of the framework/platform specific interface stuff. After finish replacing certain pieces (such as m_Platform with a barebones serial interface), then using the MotionManager::Process() as a quick reference of how to use the read/write functions of the CM730 object to create a new ROS node to publish/subscribe topics for servos and CM-730 LEDs/sensors.

    The fact that the Arbotix Pro will be a CM-730 compatible device available for sale outside a 4-digit ($1100 when I last checked) electronics kit with a main processing board so laughably obsolete as to be worthless (still not as bad as the RoBoard which lacks i686 compatibility).
    Last edited by tician; 03-15-2015 at 03:24 PM. Reason: frickin' auto-smiley
    Please pardon the pedantry... and the profanity... and the convoluted speech pattern...
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    Re: Arbotix Pro ROS support

    As tician said, the main release of the Arbotix-Pro will feature a CM-730 compatible firmware to keep things in line with the Darwin-OP framework and give people some options. This firmware is open source, and there is a 10-pin cortex spec JTAG available for custom firmware programming. The Arbotix-Pro will have its own 20-pin to 10-pin programming adapter & jig using contact pins, over using something like the Olimex adapters. This is both more robust and less expensive, and helps us with programming large runs of boards.

    The HR-OS5 (research humanoid version) next phase in R&D is full integration with ROS. As part of this, there will be a separate, ROS specific firmware available for the Arbotix-PRO. We're working with one of our partners in bringing this forward, but no timeline other than 'this year' is set.

    Please note that while users are able to program the Arbotix-Pro, only the CM-730 compatible firmware and ROS firmware will be officially supported. Any custom firmware is up to the users.
    Last edited by DresnerRobotics; 03-15-2015 at 04:36 AM.

  8. #8
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    Re: Arbotix Pro ROS support

    Thanks for clarification and very nice to hear that ROS will be in the Arbotix-Pro boat! That saves me work.

    There are so few robotics microcontroller boards with ROS integration and I can't understand why. Isn't ROS a de facto standard?
    Does everybody and every company who doesn't use an Arbotix write it's own ROS adapter classes to get access to the ROS universe?

    Anyway, thanks all for their replies.

    MC

  9. #9

    Re: Arbotix Pro ROS support

    Isn't ROS a de facto standard?
    Yes and no. It's also very big, and hard to learn. If I'm getting a microcontroller to control a robot with RC, or follow a line maze, or do some other similarly limited-scope task, rolling my own is going to be faster and easier than using ROS. (Not to mention ROS only runs on higher-end systems, not on the microcontroller itself.)

  10. #10
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    Re: Arbotix Pro ROS support

    Honestly any hardware communication can be wrapped up into a ROS node. It only takes a small amount of lines to either listen to ROS topics or publish ROS topics. I wrote one for the USB2AX in less than ten additional lines than what I had for my standalone(non-ROS) system.

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