Seed Robotics models include multiple interfaces that can be used simultaneously to control and query the hand:

  • Main control Interface: Full or Half Duplex TTL or RS485. This connector exposes the Dynamixel Protocol by default in the official firmware. This is also the port through which power is supplied to the Actuators.
  • USB Interface: by default exposes a console for controlling the hand interactively.
  • Bluetooth interface: this is an optional interface that, by default, also exposes a console with the same functionalities as the USB console.

Preparing the Connection

  1. The USB connector is located on the left side of the hand and has a small cover. Remove the cover to expose the micro-USB connector inside.
  2. Connect a micro USB cable to the hand
  3. Apply power to the hand using the Main communications port (the one at the back): while the electronics of the hand can be powered via USB, the actuators, need an independent power supply to operate. Connecting the hand to the USB host without an external power supply, will result in no motion of the actuators.
  4. Connect the USB cable to the host and install the appropriate drivers, if needed.

Installing the USB Drivers for the Virtual COMM Port (Windows) / udev rules (Linux)

Seed Robotics units runs a Cortex M4 with an auxiliary Cortex M0 running the bootloader. The firmware exposes a Virtual COMM port on the USB interface to enable Serial communication. At the time of writing:

  • Linux and Mac OS do not need any extra drivers to recognize the unit. However, you may want to add udev rules for non root users on Linux
  • Windows 10 or newer you also don't need any additional drivers.
  • For earlier versions of Windows, you need to download and install the Virtual COMM Port drivers from the PJRC website (the manufacturer of the bootloader we use (Teensy))

Connecting to the Hand over USB

After you have connected the hand to your host, a COMM port will be created. Use a Serial Terminal Program to communicate with it. We suggest Termite on Windows, but any Serial Terminal can be used for this task.

Connection settings

The USB interface will automatically detected and work with virtually any Baud Rate up to 10Mbps. For the purpose of a console, 115200bps is a good speed.

Please make sure you set line Termination to Line Feed (\n). All commands sent to the hand through the console must be terminated by LF. Until this combination is sent, the command is not processed.

Sending Your First Command

EROS Architecture

Once you connect, you can type help and you should get a list of all available commands.

  • To get all data about the hand type about
  • and to query the current status of the hand, type status. status is likely the most useful command whenever something is not working as expected with your hand.

There is quite a lot more you can do using the Console, to control and query your hand.
For a comprehensive list of all Console commands, see the List of Console Commands (for EROS architecture)

Ares Architecture

( RH4D Units built before March 1st, 2017)

Once you connect, you can type hlp and you should get a list of all available commands.

  • To quickly open you hand, you can type ope
  • To close it, type clo
  • and to query the current status of the hand, type did. did is likely the most useful command whenever something is not working as expected with your hand. It will show you the configuration for the Dynamixel connection, the Actuator status, including any errors (i.e. overloads, etc.) and information about your unit.

There is quite a lot more you can do using the Console, to control and query your hand.
For a comprehensive list of all Console commands, see the List of DH4D Console Commands

Copyright © 2015-2019 Seed Robotics Ltd

  • dh4d/usbconsole.txt
  • Last modified: 2017/09/27 13:05
  • by pedro.ramilo