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Driving an Arduino from a Scientific Calculator with LibreCalc

Gareth Halfacree

Pierre Parent and Ael Gain's LibreCalc, a project to create an open-source and open-hardware scientific calculator capable of running an algebraic system in its internal operating system, has shown off a new feature of the latest prototype: the ability to drive an Arduino from its on-board USB connector. In a video demonstration of the pair's second prototype, the LibreCalc is shown powering and controlling an Arduino board via USB - a neat trick aided by the fact that the calculator is, in reality, a fully-functional microcomputer in a compact casing. Although the team has demonstrated Arduino compatibility in the past, this marks the first time it has worked while the calculator runs from its internal battery - opening up the possibility of using the LibreCalc as a handy field interface for all sorts of Arduino-powered projects. Software sources and hardware design files are available on the official website, although the circuit design files for the second prototype have yet to be uploaded.

We aim to make a scientific calculator, fully usable, with good ergonomic, which will be fully free software and open hardware. Calculators are sometimes the first tool young people use to learn programming. We don’t want that their curiosity be discouraged because manufacturers closes their products.

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