Friday, April 27, 2012

Arduino + Matlab via Simulink

Learn something new every day.  This is the first time I have poked around simulink and it looks interesting.  Totally inaccessable due to the price... but interesting none the less.  The price of "research" IO boards and software is just a joke.  Labview is in the same category, great gear and adequate software but totally inaccessable due to the price. 

I honestly think Arduino and similar gear are going to completely eat this market segment.  When you can get a data aquisition device up and running for a few hundred on arduino with some modules and bits or spend a couple of thousand just to get a box for Labview or Simulink... its not really reasonable. 

I respect where they are comming from and the cost to develop and support their monolythic systems... but I still feel that as a business model... its had its day. 
These kind of systems are just not feasible when compared with the capacity and richness of an open model. 

Small purpose built open systems that interact via open standards are much simpler and less bug prone than trying to deal with the massive libraries and learning curves of what are archaic monsters with decades of cruft.

I unearthed an old aparatus in the back of a lab the other day that's a marvel of electro mechanical engineering. It interfaces with a 486 dx2 66 running some unix variant via some multi channel IO system from before I was born.  The time and energy that went into making it is just wonderful.  (Its a skinner box system for pidgeons BTW)
I really respect that its about 50KG of gear that probably cost someone a few thousand to have custom made, 15 years ago but the same functionality can be had from an arduino for about $50 today. 

I just cannot justify matlab or labview for most projects.  They're not even contenders.  The only reason matlab is still around is due to support some aging infrastructure ( code for older academic staff...) that cannot be updated.

Life is change....

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