Maxon EPOS2 Library with Ubuntu

To achieve a high power and efficient drive system we plan to select EC brushless motors from Maxon. The simplest and most effective way to control these motors is through Maxon’s EPOS2 controllers, which come with their own library of commands for both Linux and Windows systems. While it was easy to link the library on any Windows platform, setting up the library and drivers with Linux proved challenging; as we encountered a variety of different issues relating to soft links, installing the FTDI drivers, and different versions of the FTDI drivers, Linux kernels, and EPOS2 firmware conflicting. Eventually, we got it to work on the following platform:

  1. Ubuntu 11.04
  2. FTDI 32bit Linux drivers version 0.4.16
  3. EPOS firmware software version 0x2122, hardware version 0x6420
  4. Eclipse Indigo
Getting the Maxon command library to work in the Linux environment was essential to ultimately using ROS, which only runs on Linux. We plan to produce a readme that outlines the process used to setup everything in Ubuntu. Our readme will combine the several readmes from Maxon and FTDI that were used in combination with new things we learned that made it work, not in existing readmes. With the ability to communicate to the EPOS2 motor controller from Linux, we can now begin the development of a ROS package that will facilitate the communications and hopefully make it easy for anyone who wants to integrate Maxon motors and EPOS2 controllers on a ROS platform.
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