Rating: Excellent

Strong Points: Tons of documentation available for hardware and software, lots of full projects to browse through.

Automated experiments come with numerous advantages, such reducing experimenter bias or error, and making everyone’s lives a whole lot easier. If you’re looking for a straightforward and inexpensive way to automate your setup, check out the Arduino website. Arduino is an open-source electronics platform that includes inexpensive hardware and free software that combined make it easy to build and tailor anything you might need, such as temperature sensors, photometers, or optogenetic laser modulators. The Arduino website walks users through each of their hardware products and has numerous tutorials on how to use their software and codebase. In addition, users can browse through numerous projects on the site, each complete with photographs and step-by-step assembly instructions. If your wiring or code has you stumped, there is also a community forum where users can ask questions and swap tips. Arduino is an excellent, accessible platform for building functional electronics that can help streamline your experiments at the bench.

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