I'm not sure if this is the best place to ask but I will give it a try. I build mechanisms that are used in commercials, tv shows, window displays, multimedia art etc. They generally involve electronic control over relays, solenoids, stepper motors, dc motors, etc. There are usually less than 10 outputs but it varies. Sometimes there is a need for inputs such as a limit switch.
I typically just program an arduino for the specific application. This works fine but I want a setup that can be quickly reused for different applications and which can offer other features. I like the idea of using some type of visual programming language like node red or max/msp. This would make it easier for me (not a great programmer and not always in a position to dig up the most recent arduino sketch) to make changes on the fly. I also like the ability to create guis/dashboards like the ones in node red which will allow clients to log in and be able to adjust things themselves, it seems very easy and looks professional.
I want to know if there are any options that people here can suggest, here is what I am considering:
- raspberry pi with node-red controlling an arduino running firmata
- raspberry pi with node-red using gpio to control things directly
- pc running live/maxmsp controlling arduino using maxuino
- some kind of PLC/smart relay?
- touch designer? touchOSC or something else I'm not thinking of?
Any suggestions would be appreciated
Update: Thanks for the suggestions. I am leaning towards something like that although wired since the components are close together. I am just not sure of the most efficient way to control steppers with node red. I am working on two setups for a commercial right now and I am trying two different systems. One is a bank of solenoids controlling pneumatics in a sequence. The other is mostly stepper motors and a couple of relays. For the pneumatics which is mostly simple on/off of relays/solenoids, I am using node-red on a pi going into an arduino mega running firmata. For the shot that is mostly steppers, I am using a velocio.net plc which controls steppers natively. I would kind of prefer to use node-red for the steppers but the velocio seems easier, I would love you be proven otherwise. I would like as much of the control of the stepper speed/position to be in node red as possible yet not have it be to complicated of a flow. Any ideas?