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Misty BackPack Documentation and API?


Okay, I got the scoop.

If you have a USB-ethernet dongle (with luck, you’ve got one from your Misty I), plug it into her USB port. If the lights on it are working, then the USB port is definitely working. If the lights don’t come on, it could still be working but more difficult to verify.

If you have a two-sided USB-A cable you could plug one end into Misty’s USB port and the other into a Windows Machine and see if it comes up in the system Device Manager.

Otherwise you could plug a USB storage device formatted as NTFS into Misty’s USB port and see if it shows up in the Windows Device Portal.

Please let me know how this goes. Thanks, @miker!


Great! Things I can try! Thank you a bunch.


The NTFS formatted USB storage device worked fine. I used ssh to login to Misty and verify the files on the USB storage device and even successfully created a new file. So, Misty II’s USB port is OK. Shoot! :frowning:


I think maybe calling @cp_sridhar back over here could be helpful, as he’s got quite a bit of experience with all things “backpack” for Misty…


@miker have you tried connecting everything up to the UART (serial) port, instead of the USB port? I see above that your plan was:

[Misty II USB] <—> [Arduino USB … Arduino ICSP] <—> [Pixy2]

But I’m chatting with Engineering, and they agree with what CP says above – that the USB is for the power, and the UART is what’s intended for data transfer.

Thanks for being so patient and trailblazing with all this, btw. I’ve (obviously) worked very little with Arduino and Misty, so your questions are valuable in helping me and others get clear on what info developers will need.


@miker Hang tight. We’re further discussing the details of what you’re trying to do. It’s surprisingly non-trivial. I’ll try to report back with more recommendations soon.


Donna, thank you for following this up for me. The reason I didn’t connect to the UART is because I don’t have any way to connect to the “pogo” pins. I was assuming that the UART and the USB shared data connections.


Hey Miker,

The UART and USB connections are completely isolated from each other, so they don’t go to the same place in the head. We have an API written for the UART connection, so it currently works and you can talk to the backpack with it now. We are starting the conversation about how to get Arduino data through the USB port. The specific problem is that in order to talk to the Arduino through the USB, drivers need to be installed on Misty. Unfortunately because of the hardware/O.S. combo, its not a trivial matter. I think the plan has always been to work in that direction, you’ve just caught us a bit too early for it.

In your particular case, one of the unfortunate things is that the USB operates at 5V but the Serial UART port operates at 3.3V. The Pixy2 requires 5V to operate, meaning you will have to power it from the USB. The Arduino will also be powered and talking at 5V on the serial lines. In order to talk to the head at this point in time (before we have USB communication established), we’ll have to talk to the Serial port, and well have to put some level shifters between the pogo pins and your Arduino in order to maintain the appropriate signal levels throughout the system. While this sounds complicated, its actually pretty straight-forward and I’ll be working with you through this process to make it as painless for you as I can. Just bear with us and give me a short bit of time to work out the details. I’ll reach out to you soon to discuss moving forward.


I honestly thought that this was going to be plug-and-play from a hardware standpoint. Obviously I didn’t understand the full implications of what I was attempting to do. I am going to set this project aside until later when the software you describe is in place and I can acquire a proper Arduino backpack. Please do not let my questions divert you from the product activities you had already planned. I can wait. Thanks.