Atlas Scientific and Raspberry Pi




About: Atlas Scientific is on a mission to convert devices that were originally designed to be used by humans into devices that are specifically designed to be used by robots. We isolate the core functionality of h...

This Instructable will you show you how to interface with Atlas Scientific sensors using a Raspberry Pi.

There are 3 main ways to do this:

  1. By hooking a keyboard, monitor, and mouse up to the Pi and using it as a stand alone computer.
  2. By connecting the Pi to your local router with an ethernet cord and SSH'ing in using your laptop/desktop.
  3. Same as #2, but using a Wifi dongle on the Pi instead of an ethernet cord (like in the picture above).


Step 1: Hardware You'll Need

For Method 1:

  • Monitor with HDMI cable
  • Keyboard
  • Mouse
  • Ethernet cord

For Method 2:

  • Laptop
  • Ethernet cord

For Method 3:

  • Laptop
  • Wifi Dongle
  • Ethernet Cord (for initial connection to setup Wifi)

Step 2: Flash Raspbian Operating System Onto Your SD Card

Raspbian is our operating system of choice.

There are multiple tutorials for doing this.

Here are a few: eLinux Tutorial; Adafruit Tutorial

Step 3: Method 1

This is the method that involves connecting a monitor, keyboard, and mouse to the Pi and using it like a stand alone computer.

Here is the Quick Start Guide

It says it is optional in that guide to connect to the Internet. We recommend that you do that for this tutorial to download the Atlas Scientific sample code from Github.

Once you have logged in (username: pi; password: raspberry), and the graphical user interface has loaded on your monitor, open LXTerminal.

Skip the following 2 steps and go straight to "Download Libraries"

Step 4: Method 2 - SSH Into Pi From Laptop/Desktop

  1. Insert SD card into the Pi.
  2. Connect an Ethernet cord to the Pi and your local router
  3. Plug in the micro USB power adapter
  4. Get the IP address assigned to the Pi -- there are a few ways to do this:
    1) The easiest way is to use the Fing app on your smartphone while connected to your router.
    2) You can login into your router to find the IP address assigned to the Pi
    3) Another way is plug in a monitor, keyboard, and mouse into the Pi (like in Method1); open LXTerminal; type ifconfig; retrieve the IP address
  5. Now from your laptop/desktop, open your Terminal program and SSH into the Pi.
    The default command is usually:
    ssh pi@"IP-Address"
    The default password is 'raspberry'
  6. If you don't want to setup Wifi skip the next step to "Download Libraries"

Step 5: Method 3 - Using Wifi on the Pi

After completing Method 2:

Open this file:

sudo nano /etc/network/interfaces 

Put in appropriate SSID and Password:

e.g. wpa-ssid "AtlasScientific"
e.g. wpa-psk "WeLoveSensors"

Plug in the Wifi dongle

sudo reboot 

Unplug the Ethernet cord from the Pi and router

**Adafruit Tutorial

Step 6: Download Libraries

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install git-core
sudo apt-get install python-dev
sudo apt-get install python-serial
sudo apt-get install python-rpi.gpio

Step 7: Enable Serial Port

sudo nano /etc/inittab

Add a '#' at the beginning of the following line so that it looks like this:

#T0:23:respawn:/sbin/getty -L ttyAMA0 115200 vt10

Step 8: Reboot

sudo reboot

Step 9: Wire Up Your Atlas Circuit to the Raspberry Pi

  1. Connect GND on the Atlas Circuit to GND on the Raspberry Pi
  2. Connect VCC on the Atlas Circuit to 5V on the Pi
  3. Connect RX on the Atlas Circuit to TX on the Pi
  4. Connect TX on the Atlas Circuit to RX on the PI


Step 10: Clone the Atlas Raspberry Pi Repository on Github

Clone the AtlasScientific raspi repository:

git clone

Step 11: Run the Program and Interface With Your Sensor

cd AtlasScientific/raspi
sudo python



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3 Discussions


4 years ago on Step 9

An image of the wiring would have been helpful here. Will upload my own if I get mine running

Hello Gino,

Perhaps this may help you