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The New Ecology of Things Lab at Art Center’s graduate Media Design Program has released a new version of their NETLab Toolkit. This is a system for more easily connecting microcontrollers to computers, especially targeted at those who may be new to hardware and programming. In this video, Professor Philip van Allen of the Media Design Program shows how you can use NETLab to easily connect a a sensor to an Arduino and to Flash on a desktop machine.

Here’s the basic product description:

The NETLab Toolkit is a free set of software tools that enable designers to easily “sketch in hardware”. With no programming at all and working in the familiar environment of Flash (or Processing or MAX/MSP), designers can hook up a physical sensor (e.g. a knob) and immediately get that knob to control a motor or a video projection. The toolkit works with a wide range of sensors, wireless sensors, input from the Wii Remote, controls motors and LEDs, communicates with MIDI devices, controls sound, graphics, and video in Flash, and communicates with DMX computer controlled lighting equipment, all with a simple drag-and-drop interface (of course, programming hooks are provided as well).

NETLab Toolkit

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.


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