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Dynamixel AX-12+ FAQs

  1. What are the advantages of the AX-12+ over a standard RC servo?
  2. Can I program the AX-12 in C/C++?
  3. Is the AX-12 compatible with Matlab, LabView, VB.NET, C#, Python, and Java?
  4. How do I connect power to the AX-12?

 

1. What are the advantages of the AX-12+ over a standard RC servo?

The two major advantages of the AX-12+ over standard RC servos are.

  1. User configurable auto shutdown.
  2. Real time position, load, speed, voltage, and temperature status feedback.

An AX-12 will shut shutdown in the event of overheating, over loading or out of range voltage levels.

Standard RC servos respond to an analog PWM signal for angular positioning.  The servo's internal feedback loop is constantly trying to reduce the feedback error to zero.  Therefore, a servo will continue to try to reach the desired position even it something is in the way.  Eventually, the DC motor will simply burn out.

An AX-12 has a user adjustable property called complience margin. This feature is like a position buffer. If the AX-12's position is witin the complience margin the motor will stop trying to reach position. If the current position is outside the complience margin and the motor can not reach the desired position. Eventually, the AX-12 temperature or load (torque) alarm will fire. The LED turns on and the torque is switched off. These feature protect your $44.90 AX-12.

2. Can I program the AX-12 in C/C++?

Not exactly, the AX-12 contains an small microcontroller and can not be programmed directly unless you're an experienced AVR programmer with the required equipment. However, you can create a C/C++ to program on a PC to send instruction packets to an AX-12 network.

Most developers are programming a PC or an embedded system to control an AX-12 network. Generally, a PC is connected to the middleware controller that provides access to the AX-12 serial bus. Your C/C++ logic opens a serial connection to send and receive properly formatting Dynamixel AX-12 packets.

The USB2Dynamixel SDK located on the open source code and downloads page includes source and example code in C/C++, Matlab, Labview, Visual Studio, VB.NET, C#, Java, and Python. You can also find code examples by the Agave Robotics sofware engineers that demonstrate how to use the USB2Dynamixel API in your project.

3. Is the AX-12 compatible with Matlab, LabView, VB.NET, C#, Python, and Java?

Yes, our AX-12 controllers are compatible with Matlab, LabView, VB.NET, C#, Python, and Java. The open source code and downloads page contains a link for the USB2Dynamixel SDK. The SDK contains Matlab, LabView, VB.NET, C#, Python, and Java coding examples for sending properly formatted Dynamixel AX-12 commands to a USB2Dynamixel or Propeller middleware controller. See FAQ "2. Can I program the AX-12 in C/C++?" for more information.

4. How do I connect power to the AX-12?

A 5A 9.6V power supply is ideal. The open source code and downloads page contains several zipped projects that address connecting to and powering the AX-12 serial bus.