I'm just curious right now because I'm a long way from needing this. A lot of scientific equipment talks with RS232 (example), and you can get Arduino to talk to RS232.
A few questions crop up, for those who have done something like this:
- What equipment was it, and what needed to be done?
- What special sensors or effectors were used in the application?
- Did the professional equipment come with a manual telling you how to interpret / send data along the serial link, or did you have to reverse engineer anything?
- Was the programming relatively simple for your purposes, or did you have to dive into (digital) control theory for a proper outcome? (I haven't learned control theory yet so now would be a good time to know.)