[BangPypers] Industrial Control Systems in Python

Noufal Ibrahim noufal at nibrahim.net.in
Mon Mar 26 14:54:49 CEST 2012

Vishal <vsapre80 at gmail.com> writes:


> 1) The scenario you describe is very close to what we would like to
> have...except that I wish to have an SBC running the actual control
> code in Python and a small micro-controller board to manage
> peripherals like ADC and PWM pins...that would translate to the
> control actions. These two talk over wire, using some protocol...some
> request-response bytes structure that we invent :))

I wrote a custom JSON based protocol but later in the project, I wished
I had used something more standard. 

> Now the next thing is...what is busybox and can I use it in this case
> on the SBC? and where to find such SBCs....

Busybox[1] is a single executable that provides the functionality of
many of the basic UNIX userspace utilities (like ls etc.) depending on
what name it's called with. You can simply symlink ls etc. to busybox
and it'll work. It's very useful for embedded situations since you can
just drop in a single executable and get all the basic things for free.

> Any pointers... ?

Apropos SBCs, I recently bought a beagle board[2] for someone who was
working on a project. It's ARM based and is quite powerful. It has tons
of ports you can connect stuff to. I think he booted it with something
called Angstrom[3] and then we connected to it via. serial and got a
complete environment. It's powerful enough to run a proper small
GNU/Linux. I don't think you need busybox and things like that. This is
the only one *I* know of. You can order it in Bangalore from Tenet
technologies[4] and it costs a little less than 10k.

> the search continues :))
> Recently I have realized that almost all problems in this world...are
> a form of search...No wonder the company that mastered search is a
> "G"iant now.

My take is different. I recently met someone famous but I didn't
recollect what he was famous for. He was standing about a metre away
from me and instead of starting a conversation - something which I can
do fairly well, I actually googled for his name to find out more about
him. Later in the evening, I seriously wished that I didn't have the
ability to just "search" for him. The conversation would have been a lot
more interesting. But I'm a bit of a luddite so...

> 2) Going the ST way is not recommended (BTW its called Structured
> Text) ...because only a compiler will not be enough, we'll have to
> come up with some way of debugging... It would be like creating a
> whole new language.

Good point. My use case was a lot less complicated.

[1]  http://www.busybox.net/about.html

[2]  http://beagleboard.org/

[3]  http://www.angstrom-distribution.org/

[4]  http://tenettech.com/


"I always avoid prophesying beforehand because it is much better to prophesy after the event has already taken place. " - Winston Churchill

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