As I mentioned in an earlier post, I had only managed to get a working ros lidar work station (environment) working on an ubuntu virtual machine. There are several issues with this though; all of our other developing environments are already in OSX, getting the /dev/ ports configured correctly to ubuntu through OSX is brittle at best and if something goes wrong it borks the entire virtual machine (its just faster to re-install than to actually fix the problem manually), and running the ubuntu vm cuts down on the battery life/processor/ram of the hardware. So with this in mine getting the environment up and running on mac has been a priority.
I was successful in being able to build a working “basic” work station on mac running OS X El Capitan (I’ll put instructions in the gitlab). The basic work station can’t do much except actually launch the visualisation app rviz or any of the other tutorial apps. The next step is to dive into the lidars available SDK for the mac architecture and build a node from that capable of pushing information to the sensor into the visualisation (and other nodes). Luckily the SDK is available in python and C flavours so hopefully it won’t be too complex.