Develop GUI interface for a microcontroller as arduino or similar

Discussion in 'Microcontrollers and Programming' started by erotavlas, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. erotavlas

    erotavlas

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    Hi,
    I'm new of this forum. I'm looking for a software/library that allows to create a simple GUI (buttons, check box, menù, etc.) that is able to realize a function with a microcontroller as arduino (switching on a light, powering a motor, etc.).
    I know these projects: processing (java), wiring (C++), fritzing. Moreover, for python I found this project https://micropython.org/ and this project https://openmv.io/ tailored to solve computer vision problems with microcontroller.
    Do you know about similar project? What is the best in your opinion? I would like to use it in a secondary school.

    Thank you
     
    erotavlas, Apr 19, 2017
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  2. erotavlas

    Harald Kapp Moderator Moderator

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    While an arduiono or the like are well suited for the controller part of your project, they are (imho) not the best solution for being controlled by a GUI as you will have to add all the harware to control a monitor and an input device (e.g. keyboard, mouse).
    A raspberyy Pi is better suited, especially aas your primary concern seems to be the teaching the principles in secondary school. On the raspberry Pi you can run a pre-configured Linux. For the hardware part a standard monitor with HDMI input plus a USB keyboard and mouse are sufficient. Thus you have a working hardware/software system as the basis for your projects while still having access to the GPIO pins for input and output purposes.
    A quick entry to programming the Raspberry Pi is by using python. You can find many sample projects on the internet for this HW/SW combination.
     
    Harald Kapp, Apr 19, 2017
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  3. erotavlas

    Doug3004

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    The Henning Karlsen (sp?) libraries for touch screens have a demo that provides on-screen buttons. I believe it uses a library to create and manage the buttons, but I don't recall the details right off.

    A lot of the 'better' Arduino libraries are very heavily optimized and aren't real easy for a beginner to understand. All you do to make touch-screen "buttons" is draw a rectangle and then (in the main program loop) you check where a screen-touch occurs. If it's within the four borders of the rectangle, then you call a desired function.

    I have used some of the touch-screen TFT screens in arduino projects, and found that getting touch-screen input can take rather a lot of time, relatively speaking... In a time-sensitive task, the arduino will stutter while getting screen input (whenever the screen is being touched). It's much faster to get a binary level from a mechanical button; they do not cause the same stuttering issue at all.

    But labeling mechanical buttons is often problematic, especially if you need a program that has a LOT of buttons.... Nice buttons with clear keycaps tend to be rather expensive.

    So what I advise here is, to position the touch-screen in portrait mode and put two rows of mechanical buttons down along both sides of the screen, and poll them through a shift register or a multiplexer. This way, you can use plain buttons and place text on the screen next to them saying what they do, and you can still use on-screen buttons if you need to.
    --------
    I have one project that uses an Arduino Mega with a 7" touch screen to run two stepper motors. The touch-screen has a GUI with 7 tabs and probably 40+ buttons over all the tabs. The touch-screen interface is fantastic in making the thing much more easier to use, but the code for the GUI is about 90% of the total (270 kb total for the .ino files). The part that actually runs the motors is really quite small.
     
    Doug3004, Apr 28, 2017
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