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Author Topic: Axon and Linux  (Read 1749 times)

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Offline M0LINJARTopic starter

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Axon and Linux
« on: May 06, 2014, 11:55:44 AM »
About two years ago I bought an Axon one for my fifteenth birthday. I was only able to program simple light sequences and basic other things thanks to webotlb. Unfortunately i ran out of funding and had to put my new hobby up, now I have my own laptop and some time before college. I'm currently running CrunchBang on my laptop and after a few weeks of searching I've realized that I'm a SOL. Here are a few posts that might be helpful, but I'm not entirely sure. 

http://www.societyofrobots.com/robotforum/index.php?topic=8216.msg64214#msg64214
http://www.societyofrobots.com/robotforum/index.php?topic=7353.msg69563#msg69563
http://www.societyofrobots.com/robotforum/index.php?topic=10034.msg76923#msg76923

I still have many questions; I want to use AVR studio or something similar, is there a linux alternative?
Will I need an additional bootloader, or will the stock one work?
Do i need to use 'libraries' if i get webbotlib working? Since webotlib has its own?
Is there a forum or source that is, or offers, a community of programmers on linux?
Should I just ditch the Axon?
Are there alternatives to winAVR?
Thanks ahead for anyone taking the time to read, or better yet, help me out! 
« Last Edit: May 06, 2014, 12:27:09 PM by M0LINJAR »

Offline jwatte

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Re: Axon and Linux
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2014, 04:29:08 PM »
The Axon, and other AVR microcontrollers, cannot run Linux, because they don't have enough RAM and CPU resources to support a full operating system. Instead, they come with support libraries that let you talk to peripherals, handle interrupts, etc. But the microcontroller only runs one set of code at a time -- the code you load into them.

WebBotLib is one such set of support libraries, that comes with a convenient set of helpers for building your robot-specific project. Other such sets of libraries include the Arduino libraries, the avr-glibc library, the libraries that come with AVR Studio, and the LUFA library (for USB-based AVRs.)

The easiest way to make sure you can use any tool to program your AVR microcontroller is to get a USB programmer. The STK 500 mk II, and various clones, is the most compatible with various tools (including AVR Studio, Arduino IDE, plain avrdude program, etc.) When using a programmer, you don't need a bootloader at all.

Offline M0LINJARTopic starter

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Re: Axon and Linux
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2014, 11:00:05 AM »
The Axon, and other AVR microcontrollers, cannot run Linux, because they don't have enough RAM and CPU resources to support a full operating system. Instead, they come with support libraries that let you talk to peripherals, handle interrupts, etc. But the microcontroller only runs one set of code at a time -- the code you load into them.

WebBotLib is one such set of support libraries, that comes with a convenient set of helpers for building your robot-specific project. Other such sets of libraries include the Arduino libraries, the avr-glibc library, the libraries that come with AVR Studio, and the LUFA library (for USB-based AVRs.)

The easiest way to make sure you can use any tool to program your AVR microcontroller is to get a USB programmer. The STK 500 mk II, and various clones, is the most compatible with various tools (including AVR Studio, Arduino IDE, plain avrdude program, etc.) When using a programmer, you don't need a bootloader at all.
I think you misunderstood the problem, I'm aware I cannot run linux on Axon, thats not the problem however. I want to program my Axon from my linux computer. AVR Studio 6 does not run on linux, nor does it run in Wine. I found AVR-Eclipse and it might work, but I do not have access to Webbotlib, which makes programming difficult, as far as programming goes, I was curious if the Axon's bootloader was sufficient as I am loading from a linux system.
Thank you for your time, I apologize for the error in clarity pertaining to my situation. 

Offline M0LINJARTopic starter

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Re: Axon and Linux
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2014, 11:02:36 AM »
Also, what can I use as a USB driver to facilitate programming?

Offline jwatte

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Re: Axon and Linux
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2014, 12:44:07 PM »
Quote
I want to program my Axon from my linux computer.

I see. I do that all the time with various AVR microcontrollers.
The Arduino IDE runs on Linux just fine, for a simple to use case.
Also, the avr-gcc and avr-libc and avrdude tools are available as packages for most linuxes (Debian, Arch, etc) Those will let you build any code you want, but you have to use make files and a separate text editor (I use vim.)

avrdude is the program that "burns" built software to the microcontroller. It recognizes a number of different programmers (that hook up to the 6-pin ICSP port.) The cheapest ones are typically USBasp or USBtinyISP. You can find them for < $10 on eBay, or for about $15 from places like adafruit or sparkfun or pololu.
There's a little bit of udev rule configuration to get them to work automatically (without sudo) but that's not too bad.

Offline Webbot

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Re: Axon and Linux
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2014, 03:26:07 PM »
Try using WebbotLib Studio - see http://webbot.org.uk/iPoint/50.page

Its Java based and runs on Linux - but I haven't re-tested it for a while.

Your Axon comes with a bootloader already installed (but if you've used a hardware programmer like the AVRISP MKII then it will have wiped it). Assuming its still there then all you will need is a USB cable since WebbotLib Studio includes the software to upload to the Axon bootloader.
Webbot Home: http://webbot.org.uk/
WebbotLib online docs: http://webbot.org.uk/WebbotLibDocs
If your in the neighbourhood: http://www.hovinghamspa.co.uk

Offline M0LINJARTopic starter

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Re: Axon and Linux
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2014, 10:32:03 PM »
Try using WebbotLib Studio - see http://webbot.org.uk/iPoint/50.page

Its Java based and runs on Linux - but I haven't re-tested it for a while.

Your Axon comes with a bootloader already installed (but if you've used a hardware programmer like the AVRISP MKII then it will have wiped it). Assuming its still there then all you will need is a USB cable since WebbotLib Studio includes the software to upload to the Axon bootloader.
How do I run this? What program can I open the download with, it refuses to open with anything but a text editor.

Offline M0LINJARTopic starter

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Re: Axon and Linux
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2014, 10:33:40 PM »
Quote
I want to program my Axon from my linux computer.

I see. I do that all the time with various AVR microcontrollers.
The Arduino IDE runs on Linux just fine, for a simple to use case.
Also, the avr-gcc and avr-libc and avrdude tools are available as packages for most linuxes (Debian, Arch, etc) Those will let you build any code you want, but you have to use make files and a separate text editor (I use vim.)

avrdude is the program that "burns" built software to the microcontroller. It recognizes a number of different programmers (that hook up to the 6-pin ICSP port.) The cheapest ones are typically USBasp or USBtinyISP. You can find them for < $10 on eBay, or for about $15 from places like adafruit or sparkfun or pololu.
There's a little bit of udev rule configuration to get them to work automatically (without sudo) but that's not too bad.
Thank you, but if at all possible I want to use the Axons bootloader. Boot time isn't really an issue since I wont we working on anyhing too complicated.

Offline Webbot

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Re: Axon and Linux
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2014, 09:17:12 AM »
Try using WebbotLib Studio - see http://webbot.org.uk/iPoint/50.page

Its Java based and runs on Linux - but I haven't re-tested it for a while.

Your Axon comes with a bootloader already installed (but if you've used a hardware programmer like the AVRISP MKII then it will have wiped it). Assuming its still there then all you will need is a USB cable since WebbotLib Studio includes the software to upload to the Axon bootloader.
How do I run this? What program can I open the download with, it refuses to open with anything but a text editor.

Its called an JNLP file - aka a Java Web Start program - so make sure you've got a recent copy of Java installed on your machine. What version of 'nix have you got - exactly? eg unbutu version xx 64-bit. Or whatever. Let me know and I'll create a VM on my machine to help guide you through (and add to my manual/instructions).
Webbot Home: http://webbot.org.uk/
WebbotLib online docs: http://webbot.org.uk/WebbotLibDocs
If your in the neighbourhood: http://www.hovinghamspa.co.uk

 


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