As used in this document, hexapods are devices which use 6 linear actuators to precisely control the position of a tool. A hexapod is also known as a Stewart-Gough platform. RoboFac is designed to control a hexapod which manipulates some sort of tool, such as a router or pen.
Version 0.9.2 fixes several bugs with "Pause" functionality and adds
an extra speed up by allowing you to disable actuator length simulation
while in simulation mode.
RoboFac should run on any system where Java 5.0 is
installed. This includes the various flavors of Windows, Mac OS,
Linux and Unix. It may or may not work with other
versions of Java.
You also need the Java3D API installed to use the tool path
Java3D for Linux is available at
Java3D for other platforms:
RoboFac sends its commands to the step motors of the hexapod via
the parallel port under Linux. This has been tested only on Fedora
Core 3 Linux, kernel 2.6.10, glibc-2.3.4. You may need to recompile
the library libparallelPort.so on other
I have noticed that under Linux 2.4.x and Fedora Core 2 stepper
motors run far more slowly and unevenly. Linux 2.6.9 is strongly
To compile RoboFac from source, you'll need both the VisAd library
and the JModalWindow library:
From the command line, in directory where you've installed RoboFac run the following command:
Make sure that libparallelPort.so is in the current directory. You may need to become root in order to access the parallel port properly.
Note that parallel port access, and therefore stepper motor
control, is not implemented on any system other than Linux. You can
still run RoboFac in simulation mode.
From the command line, in the directory where you installed RoboFac, run the following command:
java -jar RoboFac.jar
Download links and documentation:
RoboFac is Copyright (C) 2004-2005 by Simon Arthur. RoboFac is
free of charge under the terms of the GNU GPL. Commercial licenses are
available upon request.