The Propeller Experiment Controller (PEC) is free, open source software that enables the Parallax Propeller to excel as an experiment controller. The PEC software simplifies tasks such as keeping track of time, detecting behavior, implementing contingencies and recording data. The system is affordable as all software is free and the hardware is inexpensive. A basic experiment controller may cost less than $100. The Propeller can be powered from battery making research equipment portable. The PEC is also very flexible. It can record many behavioral and environmental variables, present many types of stimuli and consequences, and be used with a wide variety of species. This flexibility is in contrast to commercial equipment which is often only suitable for the most popular species and research paradigms.
The goals of the PEC are to return control of research technology to researchers, reduce reliance on expensive commercial equipment, and to make research technology more accessible to anyone interested in science. All software and hardware designs will be freely available whenever possible so that the scientific community can benefit from shared knowledge.
This package includes several objects needed by the Propeller Experiment Controller as well as 20 sample programs that can be used for a laboratory course in learning and behavior. For more information please see CAVarnon.com or the open-access paper on the PEC at: http://www.amsciepub.com/doi/full/10.2466/07.08.IT.2.2 .