The USB2AX is a small interface to control Dynamixel servos with TTL interface from a computer (such as the AX-12 and the MX-xxT). It plugs into a USB port and has a 3-pin Dynamixel connector to be connected to the servos.
A typical use scenario is in a small mobile robot with a laptop or an embedded computer (like a Raspberry PI) as a brain and servos to move legs, arms or claws.
In addition to it's micro size the USB2AX's advanced firmware enables lower latency than the USB2Dynamixel and implements advanced functionality including sync_read and bulk_read. For full details and the latest news see the USB2AX forum thread
What servos can it talk to?
Basically, it can talk with any device which uses a half-duplex TTL interface (3-pins connector) and the Dynamixel protocol. More specifically:
- All of the AX servos (AX-12/AX-12+/AX-12A, AX-12W, AX-18F/AX-18A).
- The "T" versions of the MX servos (MX-28T, MX-64T, MX-106T).
- (Unsupported) It can probably communicate with some other servos that use the same protocol and interface as the AX servos, like the CDS5500.
- Communication with AX and MX Dynamixel servos (with 3 wires) @ 1Mbps
- Very small (16x36mm)
- Optimized latency
- Protection against ESD and short circuits
- Advanced functionalities: sync_read, ...
- Windows / Linux / MacOS
- Compatible with RoboPlus, Dynamixel SDK, ROS, Python, C/C++/C#, Visual Basic, Java, Labview, Matlab…
- Firmware updates
- Open Source Software & Hardware, programmable and hackable!
What are de limitations?
- The USB2AX can not communicate with the Dynamixel servos using the RS485 interface (the one with 4 pins).
- Neither can it control any sort of hobby/RC servos or other brand of robot servos.
- Compared to the USB2Dynamixel, it also lacks the RS232 port (with its big DB9 connector) used to program some controllers from Robotis like the CM-510.
- It can not supply power to the servos (see Q: How to power the servos).
- It is not a generic USB to Serial (even though it can be modified to be one) and has very different capabilities than the LN-101.
- The USB2AX reserves the ID 0xFD, so it cannot be used by a servo on the bus.
- It does not make coffee, but could be used to create a robot that does!
- For NI Labview users experiencing problems (including BSOD), see the FAQ.
Driver (for Windows): usb2ax.inf
For documentation, CAD files, sources: xevelabs.com