A new control system has been developed for the SmarAct GmbH multi-axis goniometer SmarGon. SmarGon is a six degree-of-freedom positioning device, allowing positioning of a sample and orientation around any given point. It was purpose build for protein-crystallography experiments, but, as will be presented here, was also re-purposed for other applications.
Due to limitations in SmarGon's initial control system, which was based around Delta Tau's PPMAC, a new control system "smargopolo" was developed, based on the open source robotics framework ROS (Robot Operating System) for high-level control, in connection with SmarAct's MCS2 controller for low-level control. The internals of the system will be presented.
This architecture allows strong customisation, mainly regarding interfaces, coordinate systems, logging, debugging and visualisation tools. Also, new calibration routines could be realised, tested and tweaked for optimal practical use.
Because SmarGon's predecessor PRIGo was developed at PSI, several concepts from PRIGo could be reused, allowing tight integration into the overall beamline control software, leading in practice to a better overall reliability of the system.
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