embedded operant control system
starboard is a low-cost, modular, open-source and open-hardware system for operant behavioral experiments. You can control a range of input and output devices for presenting stimuli, detecting responses, and providing food rewards. The system consists of a Beaglebone Black and a custom expansion card. Control software uses a modern, event-driven state machine framework and supports several basic training and test paradigms out of the box. Additional paradigms can be configured by specifying different state transition networks.
starboard is under active development, with an initial alpha deployment target of summer 2014. We will post designs here as they become available. If you are interested in the final product or in contributing, please feel free to contact Dan Meliza. Currently the design includes:
The control software for starboard is decide, an event-driven state-machine framework running on node.js. Responses generate interrupts that trigger transitions between states. All events are logged and can propagate to sockets-based web interfaces for online monitoring of behavior. Multiple devices can be connected to a host computer, which can collate data and provide additional monitoring services, permitting safe maintenance on closed economies. Implementing new training paradigms involves wiring together states and events and is intended to require minimal programming skills. The software will support other hardware configurations, allowing you to design custom interfaces for your experimental needs.