Propeller Experiment Controller Software

Version 1.5 of the Propeller Experiment Controller has been released! Click here for a list of changes between version 1.4 and version 1.5.

You can download the Propeller Experiment Controller version 1.5 here. This package contains several objects, or libraries of code, to allow the Propeller to easily monitor subject activity, implement contingencies, and save data spreadsheets. Sample experiment programs covering traditional procedures in habituation, classical conditioning and operant conditioning can be downloaded from this page. Documentation for the Propeller Experiment Controller and sample experiments is provided in the code documents (.spin files). All of the code is fully commented and instructions are also provided in the comments.

The Propeller Python Interface

I also offer a Propeller Python Interface program that can be used to process raw data files made by the Propeller on a computer in the rare case that the Propeller is unable to make data spreadsheets. However, because this is only needed in very rare scenarios, it is also an unrefined tool that is better suited to those with programming experience. I hope to update it at a later date. Python is a free programing language; you will need to install Python on your computer to use this program. I recommend installing version 3 of Python as I created the Propeller Python Interface in version 3.3.2 of Python. Once Python is installed, you can download my Propeller Python Interface here. This version has not yet been fully tested on multiple computer operating systems.

Detailed descriptions and instructions on the Propeller Experiment Controller can be seen here:

Varnon, C. A., & Abramson, C. I. (2013). The propeller experiment controller: Low-cost automation for classroom experiments in learning and behavior. Comprehensive Psychology, 2, 1-18. doi:10.2466/07.08.IT.2.2.

Varnon, C. A., & Abramson, C. I. (2018). The propeller experiment controller: Automation for the comparative analysis of behavior in research and teaching. The Journal of Mind and Behavior39 (1-2), 1-148.

The first publication provides an overview and discussion of using the Propeller Experiment Controller for a teaching laboratory. The second publication is essentially a user's manual and provides very detailed instructions. My code is also heavily commented, and the code-comments provide good information on how to use the software. The Varnon & Abramson (2013) paper discusses version 1.4 of my software. Although I highly recommend version 1.5, you can download version 1.4 of the Propeller Experiment Controller, the sample experiment programs, and the Propeller Python Interface here.