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Communicating between ROS and VB

asked 2012-04-19 03:53:32 -0500

mstacho gravatar image

updated 2014-01-28 17:12:00 -0500

ngrennan gravatar image


We have a piece of hardware that, for reasons beyond comprehension, only has Visual Basic .net or C# drivers. Assuming we can wrap the hardware drivers into Linux, we are still unsure of how we can get ROS to communicate with the VB process.

Does ROS have some kind of support for running VB programs, or is there some way to wrap a VB program into a C++ program? As a worst case, we'll probably just end up calling the program every time we need it in a node, shutting it down, and doing it all over again, but it'd be great if there were a better option.

Oh and the drivers use a proprietary protocol, so there is no way for us to just re-write the driver in C++ for Linux :-(

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answered 2012-06-29 08:51:34 -0500

ipso gravatar image

updated 2012-06-29 09:23:28 -0500

Not sure if you could use it, but apparently there is now roscs, so c# is an option. Mono on Linux only apparently, so it would depend on what exactly these 'drivers' do.

Another option might be to use the interop facilities in or c# to call into a c++ dll that handles the ROS integration (see streamvis for an example and fuerte/Installation/Windows on how to install the necessary bits on Windows).

Btw: proprietary protocols are not necessarily a problem; it will 'just' require reverse engineering, hard work and (lots of) time.

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Did that work for you? Any code or tips you might share?

daveayyyy gravatar image daveayyyy  ( 2014-01-28 11:36:25 -0500 )edit

@daveayyyy: I haven't used this myself. @mstacho needed some options, so I listed some.

ipso gravatar image ipso  ( 2014-01-29 03:13:30 -0500 )edit

Thanks. FWIW I tried dropping the streamvis DLL's into Unity, and it got as far as an internal compiler error it Data.Ros. So some type of incompatibility there. It ate up the rest of it though, so it might be a way to go.

daveayyyy gravatar image daveayyyy  ( 2014-01-29 09:22:36 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2012-04-19 03:53:32 -0500

Seen: 785 times

Last updated: Jun 29 '12