Arduino's Portenta Machine Control Gets a Revamped Library, New User Guide

If you've been struggling to get to grips with the Arduino Portenta Machine Control's capabilities, Arduino's new documentation will help.

The Arduino team has announced a surprise for users of the Arduino Portenta Machine Control: a new library that, it says, can improve efficiency and speed development — the latter given an extra boost thanks to a new user manual for the board.

"At Arduino, we’re committed to providing developers with tools that make the coding process smooth and efficient," the Arduino team claims of its latest release. "That's why we’re thrilled to announce the new Arduino_PortentaMachineControl library, an upgraded version designed to replace the deprecated Arduino_MachineControl library. It comes with a number of improvements, from a revamped structure to enhanced documentation, making it easier than ever to manage the features of the Arduino Portenta Machine Control."

The library is designed exclusively for the Arduino Portenta Machine Control, part of the Arduino Pro range, which the company launched three years ago as a device targeting the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Based on the earlier Portenta H7, with its STMicroelectronics STM32H747XI processor, the board was designed to support what Arduino described as "a wide range of predictive maintenance and AI [Artificial Intelligence] use cases" along with "the collection of real-time data from the factory floor [and] the remote control of equipment."

While the original Arduino_MachineControl library was good enough to get started, the Arduino team says its new Arduino_PortentaMachineControl library is better. The team promises a more intuitive structure with easier-to-find functions and clearer names, along with "refreshed and clearer" examples for getting started with the board. The new library is also optimized for efficiency, the Arduino team claims, with "decluttering" and the removal of unnecessary functions "focusing on the essential features needed for effective machine control."

The Arduino Portenta Machine Control launched three years ago, building atop the Portenta H7. (📹: Arduino)

As part of its efforts to get users up and running as quickly as possible, the Arduino team has also released an official Arduino Portenta Machine Control user manual — along with a migration guide for those who have already built projects around the original Arduino_MachineControl library and who want to move to the new Arduino_PortentaMachineControl library.

The Arduino_PortentaMachineControl library is now available through the Arduino IDE's Library Manager, and on GitHub under the Mozilla Public License 2.0; the user manual is available on the Arduino documentation site.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire:
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