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I have done this a few times now. It really depends how you can interface with the existing hardware drivers.

If you have a C++ library that can be used to access the hardware then you can create a C++ ROS node that has access to this library so that you can unify the ROS system and the hardware. You'll need to setup the CMakeLists.txt file so that the built can find the header files and the shared object for the library to be able to compile this.

When you have the skeleton of this node building successfully then it's just a case of connecting and disconnecting to the hardware on startup/shutdown and using the appropriate message topics or service servers.

If you can give us some more details of the type of hardware you are attaching to I could give you some more specific details.