Sunday, December 17, 2017

Dynamixel robot actuators

After my poor experience with hobby servos, a friend recommended Dynamixel robot actuators. Their entire reason for existence is to accurately go to a given absolute angle in response to commands over a simple, convenient network protocol (in this case, a half duplex daisy chained 3-wire connection that also supplies power).

I got two of the most popular model, the AX-12A:

As you can see, the servos come with enough mounting hardware included to build a pan/tilt mount. (The hardware is available as open stock, allowing you to mix and match and create a whole robot in Lego-like fashion.)

I'm waiting on shipment of a kit that includes the USB2AX interface dongle. The USB2AX seems weirdly overpriced for what it is, but it sure beats having to mess around trying to get a generic full duplex serial interface to work in half duplex mode, or bit-banging directly.

I will report on results one way or the other.

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