Asked — Edited
Resolved Resolved by Dave Schulpius!

Sabertooth/Kangaroo Packetized Serial Help Needed

Hi, I found this Great site while searching for info on controlling a Dimension Engineering Sabertooth / Kangaroo setup driving my mixed mode 2 wheel differential drive bot.

I am more of a hardware guy and am having trouble understanding how to use the packetized serial library that Dimension Engineering provides. I am using an arduino to sent packetized serial commands to the kangaroo. I have it driving forward and reverse with velocity (S) commands and turning with position (Pi) commands.

I have not figured out how to process the return values from the Drive and Turn command and am lost with how to use the Status and Monitor commands.

Has anybody figured out these things? I am hoping that someone here will point me in the right direction.

I can share my kangaroo test code if anybody wants to take a look.

Thanks in advance for your help.


Upgrade to ARC Pro

Take control of your robot's destiny by subscribing to Synthiam ARC Pro, and watch it evolve into a versatile and responsive machine.


Thanks for visiting:) no one here uses old school arduino's - so I doubt we will be able to help. The robots here are powered by the wifi ezb v4 with its camera and streaming audio. Makes them more like real robots:)

Maybe we can help you get into an ezb instead of that old arduino!


Good luck on your search. I'm also using DE's Roo/Sabertooth combo of boards in my robot and love them. However I'm only using Simple Serial commands as I really don't understand the Packetized Serial. It does everything I need so far.

I've found there's little info or community support for this set of boards. Too bad because it rock solid when it set up properly and working. If there was a forum sponsored by DE I think there would be more people using this set of boards if there was a little help. I've found it a struggle to get it up and running and working like I want it. However like I mentioned, once setup it hard to beat.

Again, good luck!


Where can I get one? I will add support for it in ARC


DJ, are you asking about the Kangaroo X2 that attached to the Sabertooth? If you could somehow add support that would be great. Here's the link to DE's Kangaroo X2:

Kangaroo X2

User-inserted image


Thanks everyone for your replies. I contacted Dimension Engineering (DE) Help Desk and asked the same questions in my original post to them.

There is a video by DE showing Kangaroo Drive Mode Autotune procedure. The Kangaroo user manual does not document this procedure. I wrote a 'How To' procedure which describes my 2 wheel differential drive (aka Kangaroo Mixed Mode) setup and the steps to do the autotune. I used. The robot can now be driven using a RC transmitter and receiver or packetized serial commands. or 2 PWM signals from a microcontroller.

I will post my 'How To' word doc if anyone would like to use it.

The DE Kangaroo arduino and mbed class libraries appear to be written by a C++ genius. I cant make out how to use the error, status and monitoring objects. If anybody knows C++ could download their class libraries and take a look at them I would really appreciate it.

I wish I knew about the ez V4 controller before I started with arduinos. It looks really powerful and simple to use. I have several arduinos and would like to continue using them to make the most out of the time and money I have invested in learning and using them.

Thanks for your help.


Again, would it not be better to ask this in the arduino forum?

Hey, it's never too late to dump your arduino for the king of all robot controllers... EZB4:)


I looked over that library a few months ago and it all looks like witchcraft to me.


I do understand arduino code.... I program them from time to time....However, there is nothing like the EZb of doing things....;)


Thanks to all for your replies I have my bot driving and turning with speed and position commands using packetized serial. I think I have figured out how to process errors from certain commands. Will test later today. Still don't know how to process status and monitoring commands.

Have not yet heard back from Dimension Engineering help desk. I have added my questions to the arduino forum.

I think I need a C++ expert to help figure out how to use the Kangaroo C++ libraries.

Thanks again.


Thanks for the kudos. Not sure I deserved them though. I did little more the chat with you.

I've had hit and miss support with DE. Sometimes it's days to get a response and other times it only hours. They're only a few people business and the CEO does most of the support and design work from what I've been able to gather. There was a member of this forum that visited their offices and he was real impresses with how friendly they were and the whole setup.

Anyway, good luck and I would be very interested in how you resolve this.