Techno Eco Survey

MathWorks announces built-in Simulink support for Arduino

MathWorks is the leading developer of mathematical computing software. MATLAB, the language of technical computing, is a programming environment for algorithm development, data analysis, visualization, and numeric computation. Simulink is a graphical environment for simulation and Model-Based Design of multidomain dynamic and embedded systems.

We are on our way to my predictions: Arduino is the next “must have” tool, at hand of any designer/engineer/developper, alike the sliding ruler or the HP35 when I was a student. Alike Lotus 1-2-3 and Excel when I started to work, but the big difference was that these tools were designed for computing and graphing only while Arduino allows the visualisation of concepts and allows quick and dirty (However convincing) prototyping.

The annoying part of this announcement is that MATLAB is proprietary tool. I personnaly developped my own DSP tool box, namely Panorama, which features plugins for reading data files (e.g. wav files) and driving acquisition platforms. As Panorama was started in 1995, the software development tool I had at this time was Microsoft VB3.0 and I kept upgrading Panorama up to the latest VB2008. Actually I am using a MicroCOMClass … class in VB and the PlainCOM class on Arduino. Both modules share their information through the serial comm port using variable length frames. Because of its memory limitations, vectors of data cannot be downloaded to Arduino; on the other hand Arduino can upload almost unlimited amount of data (e.g. acquired data). The modules can share up to 256 different commands that are defined freely at the application level. If some of you are interested in these codes, let me know.

More generally, I think that it would be a great idea for the software editors to agree on an interface format so that Arduino could plug on a large variety of applications.

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