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Scott Shawcroft Is Squeezing Python Into Microcontrollers

Adafruit is betting the language will make sense for makers


3 min read
Scott Shawcroft holding the Python mascot.
Photo: Adafruit

Python is one of the mostpopular programming languages. It's known for its large collection of utility libraries, and because the language is interpreted on the fly, Python programs can be quicker to debug than those that must be compiled before execution. Python can be found at companies such as Instagram, Google, Spotify, and YouTube.

As Python's domination of the desktop and the cloud continues, two camps—MicroPython and CircuitPython—are working on hardware-centered versions of the interpreted language for embedded projects such as microcontroller-based gadgets. Traditionally, the tight computing constraints of embedded hardware favors compiled languages, but more-powerful microcontrollers are shifting that equation.

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Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

His pivot from defense helped a tiny tuning-fork prevent SUV rollovers and plane crashes

11 min read
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Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

In 1992, Asad M. Madni sat at the helm of BEI Sensors and Controls, overseeing a product line that included a variety of sensor and inertial-navigation devices, but its customers were less varied—mainly, the aerospace and defense electronics industries.

And he had a problem.

The Cold War had ended, crashing the U.S. defense industry. And business wasn’t going to come back anytime soon. BEI needed to identify and capture new customers—and quickly.

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