Tag: processing

Controlling a bunch of servos

A friend just asked a quick question: How can I make a bunch of cheap (not fast) laser shutters? Here’s a quick answer: For motors, servos are pretty easy to use. Put a piece of black material on the arm of the servo if the laser is weak and this is safe to do. Alternatively,

Processing 2

One of the first posts in this blog was on Processing. Processing is a programming language with an integrated development environment that is specialized for simplicity– ease of learning and coding– and intended for applications that are primarily graphics-driven. Processing has seen continued development. Processing 2 is more OpenGL based, and for many applications, that’s

Introducing the Spectrino

The Open Hardware wave keeps rolling: MySpectral recently announced the Spectrino – an Arduino based spectrometer. It’s as barebones as spectrometers go, with the small enclosure containing a diffraction grating, CCD light sensor and an Arduino. Hooked up to a computer (PC, Mac, Linux) via a USB cable it is controlled and readout by a

Streamlined & simple prototyping to custom PCB

Fritzing is PCB design software (EDA) in the spirit of Arduino and Processing. It’s open source, cross-platform, streamlined, and simple to use. It doesn’t do simulations, but you can lay out your circuit in a GUI that looks like a prototyping board, then move to circuit layout, and finally PCB design. Check out the video

Arduino – a simple microcontroller

Arduino is a popular, cheap (around 25 USD), and open source microcontroller platform. We use them all over the lab. Students can learn to program them very quickly, they’re versatile, and there is a large user base with tutorials that make implementations easy. The programming environment is quite simple and is almost identical to Processing.


Processing is a programming language geared towards visual artists, but it comes in handy for a lot of other purposes as well. Here are some of its finer points: Open source Integrated IDE (see below) Lots of demos and tutorials online Several useful libraries available (e.g., OpenGL, video, network) Cross platform (it’s Java-based) Most of