Is there an opensource equivalent to Phidgets?

For those who don't know, Phidgets are a hardware platform for interacting between PCs and hardware; they're a sort of "industrial lego". They have DIO, relay drivers, sensors etc. Their key utility though is thaty everything communicates either through USB or though their "hub" which is a USB device, and they have a very simple and uniform API that makes developing with them very quick and easy. I use them a lot at work for small-scale industrial control and prototyping.

My problem with phidgets is that since they're closed source I only have access to their ecosystem meaning there is no way to add to it with my own parts that play well with their ecosystem.

Is there an open source software/hardware project out there that fills a similar niche? Even if its less developed (I have no problems contributing my work towards the things I need to such a project).

• What's wrong with Arduino? Or even BeagleBone? – KingDuken Sep 14 '18 at 20:48
• The problem with Arduino(and SBCs) is that we have to keep two code bases. one for the embedded controller and one for the PC in that case. We've done this in the past but it gets annoying fast. Also, not all of us can program embedded systems especially in a way that makes the code robust. – user1816847 Sep 14 '18 at 21:04
• avrusb - possiblty more down-market and DIY than you want. – Jasen Sep 14 '18 at 21:14
• @Jasen : yeah, I'm happy to use projects like avrusb to add opensouce designs and fit code for them into some API. But I don't want to end up managing such a project and I really don't want a dozen internal ad-hoc apis for all the dodads that ping hardware around here – user1816847 Sep 14 '18 at 22:26
• Firmata comes to mind. – Nick Alexeev Sep 15 '18 at 2:00