Bonescript: Simplified Physical Computing with Node.JS

Open Hardware
Location: D137 Level: Novice
Average rating: ****.
(4.75, 4 ratings)

Simple open hardware platforms, such as the Arduino, have reignited interest in electronic systems design as a hobby, accessible to those outside the industry. While the Arduino platform has given us a model of simplicity that enables novices to build their own inventions with components as complex as a microcontroller, even greater simplicity and collaboration are possible by utilizing the full capabilities of Linux and such familiar technologies as building web pages.

JavaScript is the programming language of the web and a logical first choice for new programmers. By providing the development environment over the web using Cloud9 IDE, familiarity is maintained from top to bottom building on the same technology and language. Additionally, lengthy download and installation of tools is not required, nor any permission to alter a computer host that is often used for more passive experiences such as browsing the Internet. Avoiding any surprises is a critical aspect of building a platform for inexperienced users and the universality of JavaScript provides new opportunities to avoid such surprises or delays to success.

The event-driven model of Node.JS’s JavaScript implementation provides an optimized approach to handling embedded I/O. When a sensor provides data, JavaScript closure functions provide an easy-to-use mechanism to efficiently and responsively update a web-based user interface providing visualizations of the data.

An introduction to the reasoning behind building Bonescript is given along with a brief tutorial on the environment and API. The basics behind building add-on hardware is also covered along with concepts that will result in minimal software development.

Photo of Jason Kridner

Jason Kridner

Texas Instruments

Jason Kridner is the chief software architect for the Sitara ARM microprocessor business at Texas Instruments (TI) and the director of community development. Jason is the former chief technologist for TI’s portable audio and video business and began in DSP applications as a hardware developer, working on board, FPGA, and ASIC designs. Using his software experience prior to TI, Jason transitioned to lead software development of low-power media software, audio processing, file systems, USB drivers, digital rights management, and video codecs. As one of the founders of the project, Jason is seeking to make web appliances something that electronics hobbyists can put together on their own and customize however they desire. Jason has presented at CES, ELC, multiple ARM developer conferences, numerous ESC events, MontaVista Vision, LugRadio Live, and in on-line and community developer events.

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Picture of Jeffrey Osier-Mixon
Jeffrey Osier-Mixon
07/23/2012 9:00am PDT

The only talk I attended where people spontaneously applauded (at the weather reporter demo). Great work, and a great talk as well.


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