Arduino Technology
Artbus enables prototyping distributed electronic projects

Artbus by Ed Bennett at the Art Institute of Chicago, is a hardware and communications protocol for low speed control of discreet sensors and actuators. Since it is distributed it can be placed around a space where centralized control is not as important as spatial integration. Check out the link for lots of details including where to get your hands on one of these.

via Transatlab, ArtBus Interfaces for art, design, and multimedia

10 thoughts on “Artbus enables prototyping distributed electronic projects

  1. What do you mean by distributed *unlike arduino*. There’s no reason at all you can’t use distributed arduinos in exactly the same way.

    Reading the link, it seems like this is a protocol you could run on Arduino if you wanted to. And I see nowhere in the link it says arduino is not distributed.

  2. You can link all kinds of stuff together using the I2C bus.

    Unfortunately, right now there is no “standard” bus for Arduino shields (nothing like PC104), so if you stack a couple you may have to seriously modify your code or you might not be able to even get them to work properly.

    It would be cool if we could agree on at least two Arduino pins to be an I2C bus and encourage their use for future digital communication with shields.

  3. i2c is and was always meant as a local bus, with lengths under a couple of feet. this project is meant for much longer distances (>100 feet)

    I just did a quick look on it, and it does it the correct, and even standard way, it uses rs-485 drivers.

    Most of it is protocol, so yes it should also work with arduino.

  4. gpl 3 specifically prohibits you from prohibiting others from modifying the device. so, for learning, this MIGHT be useful, although there are numerous other BUS systems out there that seem to fit the bill already, most of which are actual STANDARDS, translating this from the classroom to the real world, at least for devices where IP and/or safety are a concern is nullified by GPL 3.

    What’s the point then, well this artbus thing would work…oh wait, guess we’ll use i2c, x-10, etc.

  5. Who said anything about i2c. It’s like people are making some magic distinction about the protocol this project is using. It is just a data fomatting convention.

    Saying this is distinct from arduino (or an Intel Core 2 Quad, or an Applie IIe) is like saying the Microsoft Word piece of software is distinct from the hardware of a PC running Windows Vista. It may be true, but the statement just doesn’t make any sense.

    Calling this bus distinct from any hardware also makes no sense. You can implement it on Arduino trivially. And it is a simplistic protocol. The fact that they play games trying to prohibit people from modifying it makes it worthless. It’s a basic framework, any non-trivial use will modify it. It’s the nature of what it is.

    And for that matter, it’s so simple I’ve got a ton of prior art on it. I once connected two PIC chips together so that one handles a user interface (LCD, pots, buttons), and did some preprocessing while the other did some realtime critical work. My communication between the chip would infringe on this “standard”…except that mine predates it by about 5 years and is so trivial I’m sure there’s 50,000 other versions too.

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