After receiving many requests via youtube, discord, and email, I’ve finally gone ahead, bitten the bullet, and updated all of the moteus tools to be pure python and work in a cross platform manner. Now, the only thing you need to do to install pre-compiled versions of tview and moteus tool on most* platforms is:
pip3 install moteus_gui
python3 -m moteus_gui.tview # (or maybe just tview)
python3 -m moteus.moteus_tool # (or maybe just moteus_tool)
I’ve personally tested these on Linux, Windows, and Raspberry Pi, and others have at least verified basic operation on Macs. Python 3.7 or greater is required.
But wait, there’s more!
Now, both moteus_tool, tview, and the python bindings more generally can use python-can as a transport. That means tview can now be used with socketcan, pcan, and a bunch of other options. To one up that, most users won’t have to even specify any command line options, as tview and moteus tool will automatically select a fdcanusb or python-can depending upon what is available.
I’ll be updating the devkit introduction video soon, although the commands in there will largely continue working for the time being.
- Neither pypi or piwheels has pyside2 for the Raspberry Pi, but it is packaged in Raspberry Pi OS. You can follow the instructions in git to find a recipe that works.
- To use the pi3hat, you need to also do
pip3 install moteus_pi3hat
Various users have been trying to use lower-cost Raspberry Pi CAN-FD adapters for the moteus controller for some time (like this one from Seeed), but have had problems getting communication to work. I buckled down and went to debug the problem, discovering that the root of the issue was that the linux kernel socketcan subsystem calculates very sub-optimal CAN timings for the 5Mbps bitrate that moteus uses. This results in the adapters being unable to receive frames sent at the actual 5Mbps rate, but instead only slightly slower.
The solution is to manually specify the bus timings when configuring the socketcan link. This makes the MCP2518FD boards work, and also PEAK-CAN-FD USB adapters (and probably every other socketcan CAN-FD adapter) work as well. You can find the timings linked in the moteus reference documentation: https://github.com/mjbots/moteus/blob/main/docs/reference.md#bit-timings
General socketcan improvements
As a result of all this debugging, I made some general improvements to socketcan support in all the client side moteus tools.
- There is now a documented commandline for invoking moteus_tool from socketcan: https://github.com/mjbots/moteus/blob/main/docs/reference.md#moteus_tool-configuration
- I released moteus and moteus_pi3hat 0.2.0 to pypi. These provide socketcan interfaces for python, transparently using them if no fdcanusb or pi3hat peripherals are found.
Thanks for everyone on discord’s patience as we worked through these compatibility issues!