Creating a SCADA system with WidgeDuino

WidgeDuino – which recently made its Kickstarter debut – is an intelligent and easily configurable Windows-based application for communication between a Microsoft Windows platform and a microcontroller based system such as an Atmel-based Arduino board.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/809215184/widgeduino?ref=discovery

Essentially, WidgeDuino communicates with the microcontroller system via serial protocol or TCP/IP.

“It allows simultaneous use of multiple widgets to create complete SCADA systems using simple WidgeDuino library written for [the Atmel-based] Arduino Uno,” WidgeDuino rep Shehzad Nazir explained.

“This includes, amongst others, keypad, LEDs, gauges, knobs, sliders, thermometers, tanks and buttons. Its intuitive approach to communication simplifies rapid prototyping and development of a complete automation system.”

More specifically, Widgeduino is based on Microsoft’s .NET framework, using the popular Visual Studio Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) as its designer. It leverages National Instrument controls to enable the control of devices connected to the microcontroller system. 

As noted above, the app runs on a Windows system and supports both wired and wireless connections.

“Widgeduino comes with built-in APIs which facilitate addition of user-friendly widgets to embedded designs,” Nazir continued. “The libraries are primarily designed for communication with Arduino boards.”

Widgeduino offers two primary modes of operation:

  • Widgeduino over Serial: Serial based point-to-point (using RS232) or wireless point-to-multipoint (via Xbee 802.15.4) communication between the Widgeduino application and Arduino boards.
  • Widgeduino over Internet: IP based networking to enable Internet of Things (IoT). This mode can also be used as a hybrid (i.e. with Serial and IP protocol) to connect serial devices over internet with the Widgeduino app.

“Widgeduino simplifies the process of prototyping as it has multiple widgets that are very valuable in testing a design concept,” Nazir added.

“Once you finished with prototyping and testing with Widgeduino, you can use these widgets in your real SCADA system designs. Widgeduino provides a simple serial or ethernet interface to your microcontroller based designs, with a particular focus on Arduino boards.”

Examples of current (supported) WidgeDuino applications include:

  • 

Automation
  • Prototyping of embedded systems
  • Human Machine Interface Solutions
  • 
Robotics
  • Drones
  • Access control
  • 
RGB lighting
  • 
Motor control

Interested in learning more? You can check out WidgeDuino’s official Kickstarter page here.

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