Sep 19 – 22, 2022
Paul Scherer Institute, Villigen, Switzerland
Europe/Zurich timezone

smargopolo: A new control system for SmarGon/MCS2 using ROS

Sep 20, 2022, 5:16 PM
WHGA/Auditorium and online (Paul Scherer Institute, Villigen, Switzerland)

WHGA/Auditorium and online

Paul Scherer Institute, Villigen, Switzerland

Paul Scherrer Institute Forschungsstrasse 111 CH-5232-Villigen-PSI
Poster NOBUGS 2022


Wayne Glettig (PSI - Paul Scherrer Institut)


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.

Email address of presenting author

Primary author

Wayne Glettig (PSI - Paul Scherrer Institut)


Mr Dominik Buntschu (Paul Scherrer Institute) Dr Ezequiel Panepucci (Paul Scherrer Institute)

Presentation materials