Cambridgeshire, UK -- On November 5, Pico Technology made a small but significant announcement: the release of beta drivers that let its USB oscilloscopes communicate with BeagleBoneBlack and Raspberry Pi open-source controllers. Although it didn't have much fanfare, the announcement made to the Pico Technology Linux community shows what could be a trend in using open-source hardware to control measurement equipment.
Pico Technology isn't the first company to experiment with connecting USB-based test equipment to open-source hardware. One year ago this week, I wrote Raspberry Pi Connects Oscilloscope to Tablets where I described how Link Instruments -- another maker of USB oscilloscopes -- connected its oscilloscope to a Raspberry Pi board and developed a tablet-based user interface.
How might use use a USB oscilloscope or data-acquisition system with an open-source controller? I see many possibilities in robotics, industrial, or automotive applications. If you download the drivers, keep in mind that they are beta versions.
— Martin Rowe, Senior Technical Editor