Thanks for the help Geoff!
I rebuilt player with the latest SVN release (I saw your log) and, unfortunately, the hokuyo_aist driver seems to be giving me the same result as previously.  I've triple checked that I'm getting the latest and greatest.
Here are some more discoveries/facts that may shed light on my issue and allow you to piece a coherent picture together:
1)  I'm attaching a Hokuyo UGH-08LX through a USB port on my Gentoo laptop.
2) If I use the older urglaser driver (see urglaser.cfg) it works!  It gives me a slew of errors that the device should not measure beyond 5.6 meters but I commented those lines out in the code and it seems useable.
3) Using the hokuyo_aist driver,  if I change my config file portopts to be type=seriallog instead of type=serial I start getting data in playerv!  Otherwise I get nothing but the following player error:
listening on 6665
Listening on ports: 6665
accepted TCP client 0 on port 6665, fd 5
error   : hokuyo_aist: Failed to setup laser driver: (3) Bad response to SS command: 04 Not compatible with the sensor model
error   : Driver failed to Setup (-1)

So...
I also saw that Gearbox doesn't officially support USB devices.  Is this true? If so, could this be the heart of my problem?
I think I can move forward with the urglaser driver but several forum posts recommend the use of hokuyo_aist so I'm still interested in figuring this out.
I'm happy to post debug and verbose output under seriallog if it could be valuable.

Thanks again.
-Len




On Mon, Apr 13, 2009 at 6:32 PM, Geoffrey Biggs <gbiggs@killbots.net> wrote:
Actually, after looking over the code and reading your email again, I
think I know what's going on. Player treats a failure to set the
baudrate as a fatal error for serial ports, whereas the example just
warns and keeps on going. This will be an easy fix, so I'll get
something into SVN for you today. If you're in a hurry, you just need to
remove lines 564 and 565 from the file
server/drivers/ranger/hokuyo_aist.cc in Player.

Geoff

Geoffrey Biggs wrote:
> There are a couple of things you can try that will give us more information:
>
> 1) Set "verbose" to "true" in your config file for the driver. This will
> print out screeds of debugging data that you can post here.
>
> 2) Add "debug=3" to your portopts line, and set the port type to
> "seriallog". This will create two log files that you can compress and
> post here, which we can use to see exactly what is happening across the
> port.


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