Arduino: a low-cost multipurpose lab equipment

Behav Res Methods. 2012 Jun;44(2):305-13. doi: 10.3758/s13428-011-0163-z.


Typical experiments in psychological and neurophysiological settings often require the accurate control of multiple input and output signals. These signals are often generated or recorded via computer software and/or external dedicated hardware. Dedicated hardware is usually very expensive and requires additional software to control its behavior. In the present article, I present some accuracy tests on a low-cost and open-source I/O board (Arduino family) that may be useful in many lab environments. One of the strengths of Arduinos is the possibility they afford to load the experimental script on the board's memory and let it run without interfacing with computers or external software, thus granting complete independence, portability, and accuracy. Furthermore, a large community has arisen around the Arduino idea and offers many hardware add-ons and hundreds of free scripts for different projects. Accuracy tests show that Arduino boards may be an inexpensive tool for many psychological and neurophysiological labs.

MeSH terms

  • Computers*
  • Neurophysiology / economics
  • Neurophysiology / instrumentation*
  • Programming Languages
  • Psychology, Experimental / economics
  • Psychology, Experimental / instrumentation*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Research / economics
  • Research / instrumentation
  • Software