Prototyping A Remote-Controlled Telescope with Elixir

Lucas Sifoni


The different facets of Elixir enabled me to design, prototype, and build a physical device, from initial exploration of the problem domain with written research interleaved with code, to software prototypes that help grasp the actual problems a physical device can have, to a built terrestrial telescope, driven by a low-end RISC-V SbC running Elixir and Rust code. By the end, you’ll also have a quick introduction to optics and the inner workings of telescopes!

Key Takeaways:

  • Thinking about a physical system in software
  • Communication with hardware devices in Elixir
  • Using Rust as an escape hatch to gain performance on constrained environments
  • Simple hardware devices do not have to be hard to think about

Target Audience:

  • People having experience in software, or web development, who would like to have a first go at controlling physical devices with Elixir. The goal of the talk is to make them feel that this is within reach and actually fun.

prototyping, design, beginning with hardware