Welcome to Pictorus Beta!

Welcome to Pictorus Beta!

Pictorus is a cloud-native visual programming tool for hardware, which generates and deploys Rust-language code to connected devices directly from your browser.

Our solution is simple:

  1. Pair your dev hardware to the cloud
  2. Draw your application logic visually in a browser
  3. Deploy compiled code and observe it running in real-time, within seconds.

After a year of closed development we're excited to launch our free open Beta and see what we can build together!

Getting Started

Head on over to our Interface Tour to learn more about the app builder interface.

You can also read about projects we've built so far, as well as some technical deep dives into the product by visiting our blog.

Supported Hardware

For now, we fully support the Raspberry Pi single board computer line, and expect Beta testers to have success with the Jetson and Beaglebone series as well. Other SBCs running Linux operating systems, such as Odriods, etc may also work, but have not been well tested and are not officially supported. We're aiming to support a wide array of platforms within the year.

Pi ZeroBeagleBonePi3/4BJetson Nano
Pi Zero
BeagleBone
Raspberry Pi4
Jetson Nano

Beta Limitations

We've tried to put very few limits on what you can do with our free product during Beta. But if any of these restrictions are a problem for your project, please reach out and we'd be delighted to work with you.

  • Up to 5 devices can be paired simultaneously.
  • Telemetry streams from devices are limited to about 1Mb/sec, and no faster than 10hz.
  • Simulations up to 100,000 iterations are allowed.
  • Compiled executables can be downloaded, but raw source code cannot.

More on this in our FAQs.

FAQs

What exactly is Pictorus?

Pictorus is a visual programming platform for developing software to run on hardware. It’s entirely cloud native. You connect Single Board Computers (like a Raspberry Pi or Jetson Nano) to our cloud, and then use our in-browser visual editor to diagram the logic you’d like your hardware to run. We then automatically compile your application for you and deploy it to your hardware. It's a "low code" editor for hardware projects.

Pictorus is meant for engineers trying to develop new devices, robots, you name it. Anything with sensors or actuators. We’re striving to make the visual coding paradigm so easy to use that advanced software expertise is not required to build powerful electronics. And we strive to create a compelling rapid iteration experience, where compilation and deployment to your devices takes seconds. It should be fun and easy to do software for hardware, finally.

Who is the target audience?

Our ideal users are engineers and hardware hobbyists who are comfortable with electronics, and are looking for an easy, powerful way to develop and deploy software to their devices. These are typically mechanical, electrical, aerospace, or software engineers. Often they come with Matlab/Simulink backgrounds. But anyone who is comfortable with soldering, following wiring diagrams and a spec sheet, understands basic programming concepts, and can do a few simple linux terminal commands should be able to jump right in!

Why is it called Pictorus?

We’re calling it “Pictorus” after a constellation in the southern sky - Latin for “the painter” and fitting for a product that lets you draw algorithms like flow charts, while code literally writes itself in the background.

Will Pictorus continue to be free?

We absolutely will continue to provide a compelling free tier of our product as part of our general release. We believe strongly that one of the big problems with our sector is the inaccessibility of this kind of tooling for small teams and individuals. Paying customers will be those who have enterprise-level needs, or require more data/connectivity/device management than is feasible to support for free. But we will always provide our core product for free.

Will Pictorus be Open Source?

Eventually, mostly. We don’t want the core components to be mysterious black boxes. In fact, a big part of our long term vision is to allow modifying block functionality, tailored to a user's specific needs. By our general release (after beta), the goal is to have all block source code visible to the public and open for pull requests. The secret sauce we will keep proprietary (for now) is our code generator, which analyzes the diagram you draw in the browser and converts it into an application composed of those open source blocks. We believe strongly in the open source ethos, so as the product evolves, we’ll continue to explore ways in which a sustainable business (which covers the cost of free tier users) can thrive if we sought to open source more of the platform.

What do I need to get started?

Technically you don’t need anything except a web browser. You can build simulations in the cloud to experiment with signal processing, controls theory, or really any linear algebra or programming logic.

But Pictorus really shines when you sync a remote device. There’s a good chance any linux-based computer (Raspberry Pi, Jetson, Odroid, Beaglebone) with a relatively recent OS will be able to run Pictorus apps. This includes a Linux laptop. But for now we’re only officially supporting the RaspberryPi series and the Jetson series computers, since device protocols are often hardware specific, and will require more time to fully support.

And of course, you’ll probably want some sensors and actuators to connect to your device and control from your browser!

Can I deploy my app to an embedded device?

Not yet! Embedded development (software run on bare metal without an operating system) is a medium-term goal of ours, but for now we only work on computers sporting Linux operating systems and an internet connection. For low power projects, we find the Pi Zero to be pretty close to embedded-level wattage.

Why is the code generator in Rust?

For a long time, most code generators for hardware applications have been C or C++. But one of our strategic bets at Pictorus is in Rust, a newer systems programming language with a lot of advantages over C/C++. Rust is gaining a lot of momentum within the Linux, embedded, and mission-critical software communities, and is poised to replace C/C++ as the language of choice for hardware control in the next decade. We've written a white paper on this topic you can read for more details.

The TLDR; is our code generator can guarantee software safety in a way that is nearly impossible with traditional C/C++ code generators. Additionally, advances in incremental compilation in Rust allow us to rapidly rebuild and redeploy your apps within seconds. Lastly, the open source crate ecosystem for Rust is vast (and growing), making it easy to extend our block library in the future to include a lot of very powerful functionality for our users.

How many devices can I register?

For Beta, we are limiting the number of devices you can concurrently pair with to 5. In the future we’ll likely charge for teams needing to deploy to more devices, but if you have a specific use case right now that could use an increased device limit, please reach out and we’d be happy to work with you.

What protocols are supported?

For hardware protocols, we currently support GPIO, UART, I2C, and PWM protocols. We know SPI is missing, as well as a few other common protocols. SPI will be supported prior to General Release, and we'll continue to add more protocols along the way.

For software protocols, we support UDP. We plan to support TCP and gRPC prior to our General Release.

What devices are supported?

We currently support most modern RaspberryPi SBCs (Pi3, Pi4, PiZero), and are in the process of supporting Jetson series SBCs as well. Other common platforms, such as Odroids, Beaglebones, etc, haven't been tested and certain hardware protocols in particular may not work. Software protocols should all work. You can even deploy to your Linux laptop, if you're just running a pure software app or simulation.

Getting Started with Pictorus

We recommend running through the in-app tour (captured below) when you first log in to your account, in order to get acquainted with common Pictorus app-building workflows. For more interface feature details, see the Interface Tour in the next section.

Show Tutorial

We've also included a set of demo apps that might serve as helpful examples when you first login to your account.

Additional Tutorials

You can check out the Pictorus Blog for more in-depth tutorials, ranging from very simple "Hello World" LEDs, to real-time aircraft stabilization:

Interface Tour

In this section we'll do a quick run through of the interface features you'll encounter when you first open Pictorus in the browser.

Account Page

When you first log in to Pictorus, you'll arrive at your account page, which contains a list of all of the apps associated with your account. Apps can be accesssed, deleted, renamed, and copied from this page, by clicking on the three dots on the rightside of the app row. For now, you'll see a few demo apps that are automatically added to your new account. You'll have the option to start a tour when you first open the app as well.

Account Page

App Editor

After clicking into an app or creating a new app, you will be directed to its Main state. For more information on app States in Pictorus, navigate to the Concepts > State Machines section of the docs.

The interface is divided into a few sections:

App View

  1. App Navigation: Navigate across levels of hierarchy in your app. If you only have one state and no nested components in your app, you'll see AppName / Main here. The current app page is greyed out while others can be navigated to by clicking on the page's name.

  2. Connection Manager: Click the dropdown arrow to select a device to connect to. Devices online will show a green dot and others will be greyed out. An app can also be run in simulation mode by selecting "Simulator". You will be connected to "Simulator" by default on app startup.

  3. App Controls: Build, deploy, start, and stop apps with these two buttons. The up arrow builds an app when in simulation mode or deploys to a device if one is connected. The play/pause button starts/stops an app.

  4. App Actions Panel: This is where you'll find app editing actions. The panel is divided into five submenus - Block Palette, Version History, Export App, App Scripts and App Settings.

    App Actions

    • Block Palette: Contains standard and a user's library blocks which can be dragged onto the canvas.
    • Version History: Save a current app version and/or restore a previously saved version
    • App Scripts: Declare variables and perform pre-run calculations with Python scripts
    • Export App: Export the code generated for a specific app
    • App Settings: Change the app name and/or speed at which the app runs
  5. Canvas: This is the editing workspace where you can drag and connect plots and inspect outputs

  6. Build Info: The green checkmark indicates that a build is up-to-date and there are no issues. Alternatively, you may see a warning sign or red 'x' indicating that there may be an issue. The encircled '!' can be clicked to show issues with the current build:

    View Errors

  7. View Controls: The leftmost option here allows for plot toggling on/off. The others allow for panning, zooming, and centering a diagram.

    View Controls

Getting Started with Devices

There are 3 basic steps that must be completed to deploy software to a connected device from Pictorus:

  1. Connect your device to the internet
  2. Install the Pictorus manager on your device
  3. Register your device with Pictorus

Connecting Your Device to Wifi

In order to interact with your device in the Pictorus UI, you'll need to ensure it's connected to the internet. These instructions vary from device to device, so you should follow the setup instructions associated with your hardware. Here are some links to network setup instructions for some common boards.

Registering your device with Pictorus

(You can also read our Blog post on setting up devices for more details.)

In order to deploy software to your device, we need to install our device manager, and register the device with Pictorus cloud.

Install Pictorus on device

SSH into your device, and simply run the following to install the Pictorus device manager locally:

sudo pip3 install pictorus

Register device with Pictorus

Next, run the CLI to register the device. A prompt you to verify your Pictorus login credentials, before asking you to name the device. Note: if your account was created with a Google/Github sign in, you will need a token to configure the device. Click the toggle button above the listed commands to generate a token for authentication.

sudo pictorus-cli configure

Authenticating with a token (for accounts set up with Google/Github):

Get authentication token

Registering your device

Once this is done, you should be able to select your device from the deployment drop down menu in the upper-right hand corner of the app builder.

Registering your device

From here, you have the ability to push software to your device as long as it remained online, using the Deploy button just to the right of the device selection drop-down. Apps deployed to devices do not automatically start running (for safety), so you must hit the Play button to the right to start the app. At any time, you can hit Stop to stop the app. A note of caution: Your device must retain a stable internet connection to Start/Stop reliably!

Concepts

In this chapter we'll go over some of the basic concepts in Pictorus that might be new or confusing for folks new to visual programming. If you come from the Simulink world, most of this is probably already familiar to you.

To set the stage, it's worth mentioning that almost every concept and rule of thumb in traditional hand coding has a visual coding analog. For example, a classic coding guideline is that functions should be kept small - if a function is growing beyond a half-dozen lines, you should consider refactoring it into multiple, smaller functions with less responsibility. The same is true in visual programming! If your diagram is starting to look like a rats nest of crossed signals, it probably means it's time to rework your graph into smaller Components with just a few inputs each.

But other times, the graphical nature of block diagrams means you need to think about things fundamentally differently than you would hand coding. For folks with extensive software experience, try to remember that it took you years to get decent at hand coding, so if something is frustrating or feels dumb, be patient and try to work through it. Many people give up on visual programming when they encounter things that they could do much faster with hand coding, but they forget how long it took them to get that efficient.

That said, there's still a good amount of functionality we're excited to implement in the future. So please, let us know when something seems unreasonably difficult or impossible to do. We'll add it to the backlog!

Blocks and Components

Blocks

Blocks are the smallest unit of computation in Pictorus. Blocks appear in the Block Palette to the left of the canvas. Blocks are pre-compiled functions, which are chained together to form algorithms.

You modify a block's behavior by adjusting its Parameters. You can double-click on a block to open its Settings and edit its Parameters. You can also right-click on a block to get to the Settings.

Creating and editing Block parameters

Blocks almost always emit a single output (except, of course, Output blocks). They can have zero, one, or more inputs.

Components

Components allow us to aggregate blocks into re-usable functions. They're a powerful way to modularize your App, create new behaviors and functionality, not to mention a convenient way to clean up sprawling diagrams. The Yahboom G1 Tank API is a Component, composed of several sub-components that communicate to the robot's hardware.

To create a new Component, right-click anywhere on the canvas and select New Component. Double-clicking on a Component will navigate into it, and reveal another layer to your diagram. You can navigate in and out of these nested layers using the path links at the top of the canvas:

Component creation and navigation

Components rely on special ComponentInput and ComponentOutput blocks to pass data in and out. Adding these blocks within the Component will then appear as inputs/outputs from the level above:

Component inputs and outputs

Reusable Component Library

Components can be made reusable across different apps, allowing users to build out a library of commonly used functions. To make a component reusable, right click on it and select Make Reusable. After following the prompts and saving, the component will appear in the My Library subsection of the Block Pallette within any of a user's apps. We have also pre-built a set of components that interface with common sensors and acutators, availables in the From Market subsection of the Block Pallette.

Reusable Component

For more ways to make Components powerful, check out:

Inputs and Outputs

...or, "If an App runs in the woods, but creates no side effects, did it really exist?"

Inputs and Outputs are a particularly crucial concept in Pictorus. The simplest explanation of our Code Generator is that it attempts to trace every single "Output" block in a diagram back to the "Input" blocks necessary to compute them.

An App, by our definition, cannot exist if it has no Output blocks. Something needs to be generated by an App in order to be useful.

Similarly, an Output block cannot be compiled unless we can trace back ALL of its Inputs. If an output block depends on 50 blocks upstream, and even just one of them is broken (missing inputs, bad parameters, etc), then we cannot compile the sequence generating that Output.

So, Pictorus will constantly re-evaluate your diagram to determine which Output sequences it can compile, and which incomplete sequences it will ignore. It will incrementally build chains of logic for your app when it is positive all the Inputs and Outputs in a sequence are properly connected.

Since this distinction is so crucial, we draw attention to the different block types with colors:

  • Input-type blocks are shades of Indigo.
  • Output-type blocks are shades of Orange.
  • All other blocks (called "processes" or "transformations") are shades of Gray.

A very simple app, with a single input, transformation, and output block looks like this:

Simple app

"True" inputs vs "Generators"

You may have noticed there are two palette tabs sporting Indigo-colored blocks, labeled Inputs and Generators. The distinction is that "True" inputs refer to signals we expect from the outside world (i.e. from hardware, or APIs, etc), whereas Generators are signals generated internally by the App.

Why does this distinction matter? When simulating Apps in the cloud, we cannot talk to real hardware, so external inputs cannot be interacted with. They’re actually removed from the code entirely in simulation mode. But Generators are fine. What’s more, we can use Generators to simulate Inputs, which can be very helpful when prototyping an App.

Simulating inputs

In the app above, we’re simulating a thermostat sensor we expect to receive data over GPIO with a sinewave and Random Number block. When this app is run in Simulation mode, we see the generated signal come through, and we can tune our low-pass filter block accordingly. However, once we deploy this App to a real device, the blocks upstream of the "True" GPIO Input will be pruned from the final App, and we’ll receive temperature data from the sensor itself.

Vector math

Pictorus implements Vectors similarly to Numpy and Matlab. Vectors can be transformed by other vectors, and they can also be transformed by scalars.

This is because under the hood, all signals in Pictorus are stored as 2d vectors. So, when we speak of "scalars", we simply mean a signal stored like [[3.14159]]. Similarly, a "vector" is stored as [[1, 2, 3]]. We also support "2d vectors" (sometimes called matrices) like [[1, 2], [3, 4], [5, 6]]. We don't currently support 3d or higher dimension vectors (but plan to).

The benefit of storing everything as a 2d vector is it makes it relatively easy to perform operations on any two signals, whether they are scalars, vectors, or matrices.

Creating vectors

There is currently only one, fairly annoying way to create a new vector, using the Vector Merge block, which creates a flat vector from inputs. This is often in conjunction with a Vector Reshape block. For example, a simple 3x3 identity matrix can be constructed with:

Constructing an Identity Matrix

As mentioned, we can operate on scalars and vectors pretty easily - as long as we don't violate any dimensional rules of the operation involved. For example, we can scale the Identity matrix by a scalar factor of 10, and then subtract a scalar like so, and it applies to the entire vector:

Scalars and Vectors

Vector sizing rules

Certain vector operations have firm vector size requirements. A few common ones to be aware of:

  • When using the Matrix Multiplication method of the Product Block, the inner dimensions of the input vectors must match. For example, a 2x3 vector can matrix multiply with a 3x4 matrix, since the inner dimensions are both 3. The order of the product inputs clearly matters here.
  • The Cross Product block only works for 1x3 or 3x1 sized vectors.
  • When using the Inverse method of the Matrix Inverse block, the input block must be square (rows == cols).
  • The Determinant block also requires square matrices.

What about the overhead involved with this paradigm?

Storing everything as double precision 2d vectors is certainly not cheap, computationally. For the most part, the fact that Pictorus diagrams compile to highly performant Rust apps leveraging the nalgebra crate means our apps are still generally very efficient. But eventually, we intend to add a precompile step to the code generator that will strip down vectors to scalars where appropriate, and reduce floating point precision if specified by the users. If a Beta Tester is encountering a significant performance issue, please reach out and we'd love to dive into it!

Custom Variables

Custom Variables allow users to specify variables on a Component, State, or globally within an app, thereby granting all blocks within that scope the ability to reference the variable. Custom variables are helpful for defining something you need to reference in multiple blocks once at a high level, so any adjustments to that variable immediately trickle to all blocks referencing it.

Adding variables

To add a component or state-specific variable, right click on a Component or State go to Settings, and then Add Variable. For global variables, right click on the canvas in the State View [TODO: ADD link to state view]. Then, name your variable and assign its value. Here we're showing how to add a custom variable to a component:

Adding Variables

Now, you can go to any block within that scope - in this case,within the Component - and assign a parameter to reference that variable. You do this by clicking the (x) option next to a parameter, and selecting from the variables shown in the drop down:

Adding Variables

Any time you adjust the custom variables you set up, the blocks within the Component immediately reflect the change!

Adding Variables

State Machines

State Machines

For more info, check out the Our Blog post on State Machines.

Pictorus allows for basic State Machine representations within your App. Currently, State Machines are a top-level App feature only - we don't allow nested State Machines.

By default, every App is created with a single State (Main), which users immediately drop into when opening the App in browser. To see the State Machine representation for you App, navigate one level higher using the breadcrumbs above the canvas. From there you can right-click to create additional States, and connect different States to one another:

State creation

You may have noticed the newly-created States above quickly grayed out. This is because empty States do not generate any code, and when we create a new State, it starts out empty. Only the Main State (indicated by blue outline) is always compiled.

To make these States valid, we have to do 2 things. First, we need to make sure there is a valid State Transition to get to this State. So we'll need to go into the Main State, and connect the newly-added State Transition Block (which is automatically created when we connect States together from the top level) to a valid block sequence.

Once we do that, Pictorus will know how to get to our new State. But the State still doesn't do anything yet, so we also need to navigate in and create a valid Block sequence there as well. Finally, the State should render solid, indicating it is now included in our compiled App:

State creation

We'll now make sure all the States are connected, and look at some plots. You'll notice that plots are grayed out occasionally. This indicates time regions when the App was not in the current State, and therefore, the value does not update:

State creation

Conditional Execution

There's currently two basic ways to do If/Else style "Conditional Execution" in Pictorus.

The first is using the Switch Block, which allow you to pass different signals through the block based on a Condition (the first input to the block).

You can add many conditions to a Switch Block, and you can chain them together to form complex logic. Here's an example where we command a heater ON (100%) or OFF (0%) based on whether the simulated room temperature is below 60 degrees:

House temp example

One drawback to the Switch Block approach is that is doesn't prevent the execution of any sequence of blocks. All possible outputs get computed, but only one gets passed through.

If you really only want to execute a sequence of code if some condition is True, you need to use Conditionally Executed Components. To do this, simply create a Component, go to its settings, and toggle Conditionally Executed:

Conditional Component example

By doing this, you'll notice a special inport appears at the top-left of the Component. This is the conditional trigger. The logic contained within the Component will only be executed when the signal attached to this port is True.

Here's an example where we use conditional execution to periodically sample its input:

Conditional Component example

Conditional execution can be very useful, both as a regulating mechanism (i.e. enforcing different update rates for different parts of the app), as well as for preventing execution of dangerous code (divide by zero, etc).

"True" and "False" in a floating point world

In Pictorus, all signals are currently represented as double-precision floating point numbers. Simply put, it means we store all values with sufficient precision to avoid common issues (like round-off and overflow) encountered when using lesser precision. It means our Apps are a little larger than they need to be, but we don't have to deal with overflow and rounding errors. In time we'll add more user control of variable sizing.

Since boolean logic is crucial to computer programming, we need to specify conventions for True and False in this floating-point world. To keep things simple:

When blocks emit a True/False value (i.e. Logical/Comparison blocks)

  • True will always be emitted as exactly 1.0
  • False will always be emitted as exactly 0.0

When comparing block outputs to evaluate "Truthiness"

  • False is defined as exactly 0.0.
  • ANY value other than exactly 0.0 is defined as True (aka 1.0, 1.1, 12345.6789, -30000000, etc etc)

Consider the example below, comparing a sinewave to a constant value zero. When the sinewave is larger, the comparison block emits "1.0", otherwise it emits "0.0":

Comparison Example

Now consider this example, where we try to do a Logical AND between a sinewave and one:

Comparison Example

You might be wondering why the logical block always emits True, even though there should be an instant where the sinewave equals 0.0 and so both signals are not "True".

The reason becomes clear if we zoom in to the moment of zero-crossing, and consider the timestep of our application: Comparison Example

The sinewave crosses 0.0 at the irrational value t=3.14159..., but our app updated at times 3.1 and 3.2. So in both instances, the sinewave was "non-zero" and therefore True.

For situations like these, it can be helpful to use Deadband Blocks to force small values to zero. Also, its generally better to rework your diagrams where possible to lean on "Less/Greater than or equal" type expressions over exactly "Equals" expressions.

Working with Bytes and Strings

Generally the data we're working with in Pictorus apps is numeric, either as scalars or vectors. However, in some cases it's necessary to represent data as bytes. This is especially useful for receiving data from an external source, and for publishing data outside of an app. In these cases we first need to convert the data to a common format that can be understood by both the publisher and the receiver. For instance, we might run an app that calculates a desired position state, formats it as a bytes representation of a JSON object, and then publishes that data over UDP for a separate process to consume and act upon.

Strings vs. Bytes

In the above example, people often think of the formatted data as a String. In Pictorus, we don't distinguish between strings and bytes, as is common in many programming languages. All data that is received by an Input Block or published by an Output Block is represented as bytes, which is just an vector of 8-bit values. A String, on the otherhand, is a specific interpretation of bytes that conforms to a standard such as UTF-8. These can be represented as bytes in an app, but take on no special meaning.

For example, the string "Hello World" is just the UTF-8 interpretation of the following byte vector:

[72, 101, 108, 108, 111, 32, 87, 111, 114, 108, 100]

It's also common to see byte arrays expressed in hex notation:

[0x48, 0x65, 0x6c, 0x6c, 0x6f, 0x20, 0x57, 0x6f, 0x72, 0x6c, 0x64]

Serializing and Deserializing

The process of converting data into bytes that can be used outside of a program is commonly referred to as serialization. Converesely, interpreting bytes into a known format is often called deserialization. Blocks used for these operations can be found under the "Serialization" tab in the block palette.

Serialization Blocks

Receiving data as bytes

You can receive data from an external source in your apps using any of the supported Input Blocks. This data could be in any number of formats, so you need to tell the app how to interpret it and parse it into useful numeric data that can be handled by other blocks and components. Going back to our JSON example, we might have an app that expects to receive an x/y/z position in meters from an external source, and then command a robot to try and move to that position. One way we could represent this data is with the following JSON object:

{
  pos_x_m: 1.0,
  pos_y_m: 2.0,
  pos_z_m: 3.0,
}

To receive this data in our app, we could do the following:

  1. Create a UDP Receive Block that binds to a port that another app can publish to.
  2. Connect a JSON Load block to the output of our UDP Receive block.
  3. Configure the JSON Load block to extract pos_x_m, pos_y_m, and pos_z_m into 3 different numeric outputs.
  4. We can now use our position data for further calculations!

Deserialize Example

Publishing data as bytes

Publishing data from an app is essentially the opposite process as receiving it. Given some numeric fields we want to send out, we first need to convert our data into a format that an external consumer can understand. If we wanted to implement the publisher app in our UDP example we would do the following:

  1. Create a signal for each of our desired values (x, y, and z position).
  2. Create a JSON Dump block and connect our 3 position signals as inputs.
  3. Update the JSON Dump block settings to have the correct object key names for each corresponding signal.
  4. Create a UDP Transmit block that publishes to the receiver address, and, finally, connect the JSON Dump output as an input to this block.

Serialize Example

Tips for working with byte data

Working with byte data in Pictorus is very similar to working with numeric data. However, there are a few helpful tips that can simplify things.

Debugging bytes

Plot blocks are commonly used for debugging numeric data in apps. However, they aren't particularly useful for displaying byte data. Instead, you can use the Inspect Block, which allows you to visualize a byte array at different points in time. Inspect Blocks will attempt to render data as a string, an array of bytes, and an array of hex values, so you can quickly understand what your data looks like in a few common formats.

Inspect Output

Simulating bytes

It's often helpful to be able to simulate input data, so you can quickly validate your deserialization steps and downstream calculations. Luckily this is easy to do in Pictorus!

  1. Simulate your desired data by connecting blocks as usual.
  2. Use the desired "Serialization" blocks to convert your sim data into the correct bytes representation.
  3. Connect your serialized bytes signal to the "Sim Input" port of your input block

Serializeing Sim Data

Any blocks that are used for simulation will be removed when compiling for a hardware target, so they won't affect your real builds.

It's common to create multiple apps in Pictorus that communicate with each other by serializing/deserializing data sent across a network/file protocol. If your serialization strategy is complex, you can make things easier by converting the relevant blocks into a reusable component. This component can then be used by your publisher app, and also pulled into your receiver app for serializing sim data. This ensures your apps can communicate with each other successfully using whatever format you choose for your data!

Working with complex protocols

Having to explicitly convert all byte data into numeric data and vice-versa can seem a bit complicated, but this approach allows us to handle a wide variety of serialization strategies. For instance, you might have a JSON object that contains a field of comma-delimited numbers. Because most serialization blocks allow you to output data as bytes, they can be easily chained together to handle nested encodings like this. In this example we would do the following:

  1. Connect the raw bytes signal to a JSON Load block
  2. Configure the JSON Load block to extract the desired key and output it as bytes
  3. Feed this signal into a Bytes Split Block, and configure it to grab data from the desired indices.

Tips and Tricks

A compendium of little tips and tricks to make diagramming easier!

Hotkeys

We'd like to greatly expand our list of hotkeys, to eventually make a dev experience that requires little or no mouse clicking. For now, you can access the list of available hotkeys using Shift+?: Hotkeys

Block auto-connect

Maybe the most useful hotkey - rather than dragging connections from one block to another, you can speed things up by selecting the block you'd like to create a connection from, and then hover near + ctl to automatically connect:

Auto connect blocks

Feedback loop to self

If you want to feed a block back to itself, you currently need to inject an intermediate block. The Gain block is ideal, because by default it applies no transformation to the input signal:

Feedback loops

Flipping block horizontally

As seen with the Gain block in the feedback animation above, you can flip a block horizontally with ctl+i. You can also do this from the right-click menu. This is helpful for keeping feedback loops tidy.

Debugging Guide

Pictorus is currently a free beta product, so we're expecting users to encounter plenty of fun bugs. Below are some helpful debugging suggestions that can help you track down the source of issues.

Tracing Broken and Orphaned Blocks

Pictorus is constantly re-evaluating your diagram to see what it can generate code for, and what it cannot. You can highlight issues by clicking the blue exclamation mark in the bottom-right. It will highlight any Broken (blocks with bad parameters or missing inputs) in red, and any Orphaned blocks (blocks affected by a Broken block) in orange.

broken and orphaned blocks

In the example above, we could see that the Product block was broken, since multiplication requires 2 inputs. By attaching another signal to it, the issue is resolved and the App compiles. By removing an input to the Sum block, new issues are reported and we can quickly identify them.

Debugging Apps on a Device

General hardware debugging guidance

Very often, especially when dealing with low-cost sensors and actuators, the problem is the hardware. As a reminder, please consider the following initial hardware debugging steps:

  • Check your wiring, and then check it again. Improper wiring is a huge cause of issues.

  • Check the manual. Sounds obvious, but lots of people skip this step. Very often devices have nuanced bootup/configuration sequences, or odd timing steps that must be executed precisely before the device will communicate properly.

  • Check all required protocols are enabled. Some protocols on some devices (like I2C on RaspberryPi) have to be manually enabled within the OS. Check if that is the case.

  • Does it work with a trusted Python script (or any other tool)? Many device manufacturers publish simple scripts online that can verify a device is working properly. If a well-tested script can’t communicate with your device, it’s unlikely Pictorus will be able to.

  • When in doubt, power-cycle! The old reliable medicine for a misbehaving computer. Should not be heavily relied upon, but even 21st century computers are still odd, stateful creatures who need to take a nap sometimes.

Unfortunately, it is sometimes the case that a device simply cannot be revived, especially a $3 servo motor. If you're completely unable to communicate with your device, there's not much Pictorus can do to help.

For devices which are online but behaving oddly, consider the following software debugging steps:

Viewing App Logs

After SSHing into your device. You should be able to see logs from the app and device manager using journalctl.

  • To see all logs: journalctl -u pictorus
  • To see recent log output in real time journalctl -u pictorus -f

These logs may reveal some telling errors, especially if the app is crashing or failing to initialize properly.

Running the app manually

You can also run an app outside of the device manager and manually pass in flags to make debugging easier.

  1. First make sure that the app is not running to avoid any resource conflicts.
    • You can do this by pausing the app from the UI, or by running sudo systemctl stop pictorus to kill the device manager and any associated processes. If you kill the app manager, make sure to start it when you're finished: sudo systemctl start pictorus.
  2. You can now run the installed app manually by running sudo /root/.pictorus/device_manager/apps/pictorus_managed_app

Debug logging

You can add the flag LOG_LEVEL=debug to print out extra information, including the value of each block at every time step. Warning: This generates a lot of verbose output, and can affect the performance of apps.

  • sudo LOG_LEVEL=debug /root/.pictorus/device_manager/apps/pictorus_managed_app

Recording data to a CSV

You can have the app output block values to a CSV file by setting APP_DATA_LOG_RATE_HZ=<rate_hz>, where the specified number is the maximum rate in Hz that the data will be logged. Data will be output to a file named diagram_output.csv in your current directory.

  • sudo APP_DATA_LOG_RATE_HZ=1 /root/.pictorus/device_manager/apps/pictorus_managed_app
  • This will only record data from blocks connected to a diagram output (such as plots or network/file IO blocks), so you will need to connect any blocks you're interested in to a Plot block.

Overriding block parameters

You can override parameters for any block in the diagram using environment variables. This can be done by locating the block ID (found in the lower right-hand corner of a block's setting panel),

Block ID

and then appending the name of the param you want to override. For instance: if I wanted to set the Amplitude of a block with ID = sinewave_123 to 42, I would add the flag SINEWAVE_123_AMPLITUDE=42 (note this must be all caps!) to the run command.

  • sudo SINEWAVE_123_AMPLITUDE=42 /root/.pictorus/device_manager/apps/pictorus_managed_app

Environment variables

There are other environment variables your App will respond to. Below is a list of them:

  • APP_DATA_LOG_RATE_HZ (default = 0): Sets the rate, in hertz (times per second), at which output data is logged to file. If the rate is 0 (as it is by default), no data output file will be created. An App cannot publish faster than its fundamental update rate (specified in browser).
  • APP_RUN_PATH (default = ""): The run path sets the local path where any assets generated by the app (i.e. the data log) will be stored.
  • APP_TRANSMIT_ENABLED (default = True): Enables/Disables any communication with hardware and protocols. When running in Simulation mode, for example, this prevents apps from attempting to communicate with non-existent hardware.
  • APP_PUBLISH_SOCKET (default = ""): Sets the UDP socket for communication with the Pictorus Device Manager.
  • LOG_LEVEL (default = INFO): Sets the logging level. Options are currently INFO and DEBUG. Info level shows very little logging, but will capture any major failure messages. Debug level dumps every single block’s value at every single time step. Use with caution!

Block Reference

The set of standard Pictorus blocks are divided into six categories: Input, Generator, Serialization,Process, Vector and Output.

This section contains a reference to every block available in the Pictorus block palette. Each section contains a description of the block as well as what inputs and parameters are available.

Abs Block

Absolute Value Block

The Absolute Value block emits the absolute value of its input signal.

Parameters

None

Examples

Abs Example

Aggregate Block

Aggregate Block

The Aggregate block emits a scalar result of some aggregation function applies to an input vector.

Parameters

  • Method [Sum | Mean | Median | Min | Max]
    • Sum Emits the sum of all elements in the input vector.
    • Mean Emits the average of all elements in the input vector.
    • Median Emits the median value of all elements in the input vector. If there are two median values, it averages them.
    • Min Emits the smallest of all elements in the input vector.
    • Max Emits the largest of all elements in the input vector.

Examples

Vector aggregate example

App Time Block

App Time Block

The App Time block emits the number of seconds since the app launched.

Parameters

None

Examples

App Time Example

Bias Block

Bias Block

The Bias block emits the value of its input, offset (biased) by the amount specified.

Parameters

  • Offset (default = 0): Amount to offset the input by.

Examples

Bias Example

Bit Shift Block

Bit Shift Block

The Bit Shift block emits the logical bit shift of its input, either left or right, by a specified number of bits.

Parameters

  • Bits (default = 0): The number of bits to shift the input by.
  • Method [Right | Left]
    • Right: Right shifts (>>) all the bits of its operand.
    • Left: Left shifts (<<) all the bits of its operand.

Examples

Bit Shift Example

Bitwise Operator Block

Bitwise Operator Block

The Bitwise Operator block emits the result of bitwise logical operations on its inputs. For an arbitrary number of inputs, each column of each input's binary representation will be compared to that same column of the other inputs, and logical comparisons will be made, the result of which are re-interpretted as a numerical value.

Parameters

  • Method [And | Or | Nor]
    • And: Applies logical AND to each bit of the inputs.
    • Or: Applies logical OR to each bit of the inputs.
    • Nor: Applies logical NOR to each bit of the inputs.

Examples

Bitwise Operator  Example

Bytes Join Block

Bytes Join Block

The Bytes Join block joins data on a specified delimiter, and outputs the resulting bytes

Inputs

  • x (dynamic): data that will be joined by the delimiter

Outputs

  • bytes: the inputs joined by the specified delimiter

Parameters

  • Field Delimiter: (default = ","): String or bytes delimiter to join the data on. For a bytes literal, escape the characters using \x (i.e. \x20 for the unicode ' ' corresponding to the hexadecimal value 0x20).

Bytes Literal Block

Bytes Literal Block

The Bytes Literal block emits a fixed bytes Value specified in its parameters.

Parameters

  • Value (default = ""): Bytes value to emit each time step. This can be input as a string or a bytes literal. For a bytes literal, escape the characters using \x (i.e. \x20 for the unicode ' ' corresponding to the hexadecimal value 0x20).

Examples

Bytes Literal Example

Bytes Split Block

Bytes Split Block

The Bytes Split block attempts to split byte data based off a given delimiter

Inputs

  • bytes: bytes data to split

Outputs

  • output_n (dynamic): Scalar or bytes signal corresponding to values configured in the block parameters
  • Is Valid: A boolean representing whether the data is valid as determined by the Stale Age (ms) param

Parameters

  • Field Delimiter (default = ","): String or bytes delimiter to split the data on. For a bytes literal, escape the characters using \x (i.e. \x20 for the unicode ' ' corresponding to the hexadecimal value 0x20).
  • Select Indexes: The indexes to pick from the split data. These will be output as individual signals from the block.
    • Label: The name of the signal that will be output from the block
    • Data Index: The index (zero-indexed) to extract from the split data. For instance, selecting index 1 from the input data "1.0,2.0,3.0,4.0" split on the character ",", would return the scalar 2.0
    • Type (Number | Bytes): Select whether the data should be interpreted as a scalar number, or bytes that will be parsed again downstream
  • Stale Age (ms) (default = 1000): Age from last valid data parsed when the block will output Is Valid as False

Bytes Pack Block

Bytes Pack Block

The Bytes Pack block joins scalar data into a packed struct that gets serialized to bytes

Inputs

  • x (dynamic): scalar values that will be packed into the output data

Outputs

  • bytes: packed byte data

Parameters

  • Pack Bytes: Configure how input data will be packed
    • Label: The name of the input port corresponding to this value
    • Type: The data type and size this value will be encoded as
      • The letter indicates the type of data: u = unsigned integer, i = signed integer, f = float
      • The numbers indicate the number of bits used to encode the value
      • For instance, specifying i64 will encode the value as a 64-bit signed integer
    • Order: The endianness used to encode the value

Bytes Unpack Block

Bytes Unpack Block

The Bytes Unpack block unpacks data from a packed struct

Inputs

  • bytes: bytes data to unpack

Outputs

  • output_n (dynamic): Scalar signal corresponding to values configured in the block parameters
  • Is Valid: A boolean representing whether the data is valid as determined by the Stale Age (ms) param

Parameters

  • Unpack Bytes: Configure how input data will be unpacked
    • Label: The name of the output signal corresponding to this value
    • Type: The data type and size this value will be interpreted as for decoding
      • The letter indicates the type of data: u = unsigned integer, i = signed integer, f = float
      • The numbers indicate the number of bits used to represent the value
      • For instance, specifying i64 will decode the value as a 64-bit signed integer
  • Stale Age (ms) (default = 1000): Age from last valid data parsed when the block will output Is Valid as False

Change Detection Block

Change Detection Block

The Change Detection block emits True when the input signal changes value. It has three different modes of operation: Any, Rising, and Falling.

Parameters

  • Method [Any | Rising | Falling]
    • Any: Emits True on any change to input signal, otherwise False
    • Rising: Emits True when the input signal increases value, otherwise False.
    • Falling Emits True when the input signal decreases value, otherwise False.

Examples

Change Detection Example

Character Display Block

Character Display Block

The Character Display block allows outputting a value over I2C to a few common display types.

Inputs

  • bytes: bytes representing a valid UTF-8 string. Also accepts a scalar that will be converted to a string.

Parameters

  • Address (default = 0): I2C address of the display to connect to
  • Type [OLED | LCD]: Type of display to use
    • OLED: Control an OLED display using an SSD1306 controller
    • LCD: Control an LCD display using an HD44780 controller
  • X Offset (default = 0): Number of characters to offset the display

Clamp Block

Clamp Block

The Clamp block caps the minimum and maximum values of its input signal. Useful when you have an actuator you do not want to accidentally attempt to command beyond its known limit.

Parameters

  • Lower Limit (default = -1.0): Minimum value this block will emit.
  • Upper Limit (default = 1.0): Maximum value this block will emit.

Examples

Clamp Example

Comment Block

Comment Block

The Comment block is a non-functional block that simply allows users to add text comments to their apps.

Compare To Value Block

Compare To Value Block

The Compare To Value block emits True when the comparison between the input signal and a specified Value is true. It has six different modes of operation: Equal, NotEqual, GreaterThan, GreaterThanOrEqual, LessThan, and LessThanOrEqual.

Note - Equal and NotEqual options look for exact floating point agreement. This can lead to confusion, particularly when the app time step results in close but not exactly the expected value, like zero-crossings.

Parameters

  • Value (default = 0): A numeric value to perform comparisons against.
  • Method [Equal | NotEqual | GreaterThan | GreaterThanOrEqual | LessThan | LessThanOrEqual]
    • Equal: Emits True when the input signal exactly equals the Value parameter, otherwise False
    • NotEqual: Emits True when the input signal does not exactly equal the Value parameter, otherwise False.
    • GreaterThan Emits True when the input signal is greater than the Value parameter, otherwise False.
    • GreaterThanOrEqual Emits True when the input signal is greater than or exactly equal to the Value parameter, otherwise False.
    • LessThan Emits True when the input signal is less than the Value parameter, otherwise False.
    • LessThanOrEqual Emits True when the input signal is less than or exactly equal to the Value parameter, otherwise False.

Examples

Compare To Value Example

Comparison Block

Comparison Block

The Comparison block emits True when the comparison between two input signals is true. It has six different modes of operation: Equal, NotEqual, GreaterThan, GreaterThanOrEqual, LessThan, and LessThanOrEqual.

Note - Equal and NotEqual options look for exact floating point agreement. This can lead to confusion, particularly when the app time step results in close but not exactly the expected value, like zero-crossings.

Parameters

  • Method [Equal | NotEqual | GreaterThan | GreaterThanOrEqual | LessThan | LessThanOrEqual]
    • Equal: Emits True when the first input signal exactly equals the second input signal, otherwise False
    • NotEqual: Emits True when the input signal does not exactly equal the second input signal, otherwise False.
    • GreaterThan Emits True when the input signal is greater than the second input signal, otherwise False.
    • GreaterThanOrEqual Emits True when the input signal is greater than or exactly equal to the second input signal, otherwise False.
    • LessThan Emits True when the input signal is less than the second input signal, otherwise False.
    • LessThanOrEqual Emits True when the input signal is less than or exactly equal to the second input signal, otherwise False.

Examples

Comparison Example

Component Input Block

Component Input Block

The Component Input block allows a signal from the diagram level above to be passed into the current Component.

Parameters

  • Portnum: Specifies the inport number order of this block, when viewed viewed from the level above. Warning: Currently brittle, if you change this number, you need to make sure no other ComponentInputs at this level share the same number.

Examples

Component Input Example

Component Output Block

Component Output Block

The Component Output block allows a signal from the current diagram level to be passed to level above.

Parameters

None. Currently there is no way to specify the port ordering for component outputs. They are determined by the order they're added.

Examples

Component Output Example

Constant Block

Constant Block

The Constant block emits a fixed numeric Value specified in its parameters.

Parameters

  • Value (default = 0): Numeric value to emit each time step.

Examples

Constant Example

Counter Block

Counter Block

The Counter block maintains a running counter of every iteration the input value was True (non-zero). It can be reset using its second inport.

Examples

Counter Example
Counts the number of times a randomly generated number is greater than 1, and resets when the counter exceeds 10

Cross Product Block

Cross Product Block

The Cross Product block emits the vector cross product of two input vectors. The input vectors are required to be of size [1, 3] or [3, 1], or else the cross product will fail.

Examples

Vector cross product example

Data Read Block

Data Read Block

The Data Read block will emit the value of a custom variable that was assigned elsewhere in the app. This can be useful when needing to share data across States or Components.

You must create a custom variable in the scope of a Data Read block in order for this block to compile.

In general, Data Read/Writes within the same visual level of an app are discouraged. The example below is just meant to illustrate functionality in one screen capture. If your diagram is so convoluted that you want to use Data Read/Writes to avoid crossing signal wires, you should consider refactoring your diagram into smaller, cleaner components.

However, if you need to share data from one side of an app to another, and don't want to plumb in a bunch of signals to do so, Data Read/Writes are great. They are particularly powerful for State Machines, which otherwise don't have a means of sharing data. Eventually we will allow targetted data handoffs between States, but for now, use Data Read/Writes.

Examples

Counter Example

Data Write Block

Data Write Block

The Data Write block will store the value of its input to a custom variable. This can be useful when needing to share data across States or Components.

You must create a custom variable in the scope of a Data Write block in order for this block to compile.

In general, Data Read/Writes within the same visual level of an app are discouraged. The example below is just meant to illustrate functionality in one screen capture. If your diagram is so convoluted that you want to use Data Read/Writes to avoid crossing signal wires, you should consider refactoring your diagram into smaller, cleaner components.

However, if you need to share data from one side of an app to another, and don't want to plumb in a bunch of signals to do so, Data Read/Writes are great. They are particularly powerful for State Machines, which otherwise don't have a means of sharing data. Eventually we will allow targetted data handoffs between States, but for now, use Data Read/Writes.

Examples

Counter Example

Deadband Block

Deadband Block

The Deadband block emits the input signal, unless it's within the Upper and Lower bounds specified in its parameters, in which case it emits zero.

Useful for zeroing out a measurement within some noise threshold.

Parameters

  • Lower Limit (default = -1): Numeric value specifying the floor of the deadband zone.
  • Upper Limit (default = 1): Numeric value specifying the ceiling of the deadband zone.

Examples

Deadband Example

Delay Block

Delay Block

The Delay block delays the input signal by the number of iterations specified by the Samples parameter.

Parameters

  • Samples (default = 1): Numeric value specifying how many iterations to delay the input signal by.

Examples

Delay Example

Delay Control Block

Delay Control Block

The Delay Control block addresses the rapid firing of a noisy input by rate limiting the output one of two ways. The Debounce method waits for the input to go from true to false for a fixed delay_time after before emitting true. The Throttle method emits true immediately upon true input, but then will not emit true again for at least delay_time seconds.

Parameters

  • Method [Debounce | Throttle]
    • Debounce: Wait until the input signal stops being true for delay_time before emitting true.
    • Throttle: Immediately emit true on first true input, but then wait delay_time before passing through a true input again.
  • Delay Time (S) Amount of time to throttle or debounce by, in seconds.

Examples

Delay Control  Example

Derivative Block

Derivative Block

The Derivative block emits the discrete derivative of the input signal.

The derivative is computed from the difference between the input signal now and the input signal Max Samples ago, divided by the time between those two samples:

\( \ f(x_i) = \frac{x_i - x_{i-s}}{dt * s} \)

Since the derivative block requires Max Samples to compute the derivative, it will output 0 for the initial timesteps.

Parameters

  • Max Samples (default = 3): Number of samples to compute the derivative over.

Examples

Derivative Example

Determinant Block

Determinant Block

The Determinant block emits the scalar determinant of a square input vector. The input vector must be invertible or else the determinant will output zero.

Examples

Vector Determinant example

Dot Product Block

Dot Product Block

The Dot Product block emits the scalar dot product of two input vectors. The input vectors must have the same sizes.

Examples

Vector dot product example

Equation Block

Equation Block

The Equation block allows users to specify simple functions with valid SymPy statements. The syntax for supported SymPy expressions is fairly limited at the moment. Mostly, this provides an easy way to write a one-line equation of multiple variables.

As indicated by the inport labels, each signal into the block is referenced as x[i] in the Expression, where i is the inport number (starting with 1).

Parameters

  • Expression (default = x1**2.0 + 1): Symbolic math equation to execute.

Examples

Equation Example

Exponent Block

Exponent Block

The Exponent block emits the value of the input signal, raised to the Coefficient parameter. Coefficients < 1.0 are roots (i.e. square root = 0.5).

The Preserve Sign parameter forces the output to match the sign of the input.

Note: For roots, negative inputs will cause the app to fail, unless Preserve Sign is enabled.

Parameters

  • Coefficient (default = 2.0): Numeric coefficient to raise the input signal to.
  • Preserve Sign (default = False): Specifies whether block should force the output sign to match the input sign.

Examples

Exponent Example

Fast Fourier Transform Block

Fast Fourier Transform Block

The Fast Fourier Transform block emits the Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT) of an input signal, implemented using the computationally efficient Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) algorithm. We use rustfft crate to implement the FFT.

The DFT analyzes a sequence of discrete measurements to estimate the component frequencies present in a signal. The output is a vector of length equal to the buffer size, and represent frequency bins. The frequency represented by each bin depends on the sampling rate and buffer size. The 0th bin represents the DC offset of the signal, essentially any fixed bias.

This block is useful for analyzing a sensor reading to determine what frequencies are present. It's an approximation that depends highly on the buffer size and sampling rate (See: Nyquist Frequency).

Parameters

  • Buffer Size (default = 10.0): Number of samples to accumulate before performing the FFT.

Examples

FFT Filter Example

Frequency Filter Block

Frequency Filter Block

The Frequency Filter block emits either a high pass or low pass filter of the input, analogous to a first-order RC filter, specified by a cutoff frequency. For more details on derivation, read up here.

This first-order filter is effective for attenuating undesirable frequencies from sensor measurements, enhancing the quality of the signal. In the context of a high-pass filter, components of the signal with frequencies below the specified cutoff frequency will be attenuated, allowing only higher frequencies to pass through. Conversely, the low-pass filter implementation will attenuate signal components with frequencies above the cutoff, allowing only lower frequencies to pass through. A first-order filter provides a balance between simplicity and effectiveness, making it suitable for many applications where precision and computational efficiency are crucial.

Parameters

  • Method [HighPass | LowPass]
    • HighPass: Preserves the power of high-frequency signals while attenuating signals with frequencies below the cutoff.
    • LowPass: Preserves the power of low-frequency signals while attenuating signals with frequencies above the cutoff.
  • Cutoff Frequency (hz) (default = 10.0): Frequency above or below which attenuation will be focused for the filter.

Examples

IIR Filter Example

Gain Block

Gain Block

The Gain block emits the value of the input block, scaled by the Gain parameter.

Parameters

  • Gain (default = 1.0): Numeric value to scale the input by.

Examples

Gain Example

Gpio Input Block

Gpio Input Block

The Gpio Input block reads the value of a specified GPIO pin and outputs its state as a value: 1 = pin is high; 0 = pin is low.

You can optionally provide an input that will be passed through as the signal for simulations.

Parameters

  • Pin Number (default = 0): The pin number (using BCM numbering) to read.

Gpio Output Block

Gpio Output Block

The Gpio Output block writes the input value to the specified GPIO pin. A value of 0 will set the pin low, any other value will set it high.

Parameters

  • Pin Number (default = 0): The pin number (using BCM numbering) to write to.

Histogram Plot Block

Histogram Plot Block

The Histogram block plots vertical bins representing the number of samples (Y axis) falling within the ranges specified by the X-axis.

Currently, bin count and ranges are automatically generated, and chosen so that this number is comparable to the typical number of samples in a bin.

Parameters

None

Examples

Histogram Plot Example

I2C Input Block

I2C Input Block

The I2C Input block reads data from a given I2C address and register.

Inputs

  • Sim Input: Optional bytes data that will be passed through in simulation mode

Outputs

  • bytes: bytes received by the read command. The number of bytes is controlled by the Read Bytes parameter.
  • Is Valid: A boolean representing whether the data is valid as determined by the Stale Age (ms) param

Parameters

  • Address (default = 0): I2C address to read from.
  • Command (default = 0): Command to send to the device. This is typically the register number you want to read.
  • Read Bytes (default = 1): Number of bytes to read from the register.
  • Stale Age (ms) (default = 1000): Age from last valid data received when the block will output Is Valid as False

I2C Output Block

I2C Output Block

The I2C Output block writes data to a given I2C address and register.

Inputs

  • bytes: bytes that will be sent to the register.

Parameters

  • Address (default = 0) - I2C address to write to.
  • Command (default = 0): Command to send to the device. This is typically the register number you want to write to.

IIR Filter Block

IIR Filter Block

The Infinite Impulse Response Filter block emits a low pass filter of the input, analogous to a first-order RC filter. For more details on derivation, read up here.

This simple, efficient filter is generally good at removing noise from a sensor measurement, with only a single, intuitive parameter to tune.

The value of the filter at each step is the weighted sum of the current input value, and the previous output value:

\( \ f(x_i) = \alpha*x_i + (1 - \alpha) * f(x_{i-1}) \)

where

\( \ \alpha = \frac{dt}{RC +dt} \)

Parameters

  • Time Constant (default = 1.0): Time constant (RC) for the filter. Physically, the time constant represents the elapsed time required for the system response to decay to zero if the system had continued to decay at the initial rate (source).

Examples

IIR Filter Example

Integral Block

Integral Block

The Integral block emits the discrete integral of the input signal to approximate the definite integral.

Parameters

  • Method [Rectangle | Trapezoidal]
    • Rectangle: Performs Rectangle-rule discrete integration. While often less accurate that Trapezoidal, it is slightly faster, and has the benefit of sympletic conservation.
    • Trapezoidal: Performs Trapezoidal rule discrete integration. Generally more accurate than Rectangular, but can diverge more noticebly if large step sizes are used.
  • Initial Condition (default = 0): Specifies an initial offset value for the integral.
  • Clamp Limit (default = 1e100): Specifies a maximum magnitude for the integral. Beyond this limit (positive or negative), no further integration will occur.

Examples

Integral Example

Inspect Block

Inspect Block

The Inspect block allows users to inspect the exact value of a signal at every time step. It is intended as a debugging tool.

As shown in the examples below, the Inspect block renders differently for scalars, vectors, and byte streams:

Examples

Inspect Scalars Example
For scalars, the full floating-point representation for each signal is shown, and allows users to scrub through time to observe exact values at precise moments.
Inspect Vectors Example
For vectors, each element is rendered in a box, arranged to show the rows and columns of the vector.
Inspect Bytes Example
For byte streams, three representations are shown: The string interpretation, the hex interpretation, and the u8 interpretation.

JSON Load Block

JSON Load Block

The JSON Load block attempts to parse the input bytes as JSON and output values from the specified keys

Inputs

  • JSON: bytes data to parse

Outputs

  • output_n (dynamic): Scalar or bytes signal corresponding to keys configured in the block parameters
  • Is Valid: A boolean representing whether the data is valid as determined by the Stale Age (ms) param

Parameters

  • Select Keys: The keys to extract from the JSON object. These will be output as individual signals from the block.
    • Label: The name of the signal that will be output from the block
    • Data Key: The name of the key to extract from the JSON object
    • Type (Number | Bytes): Select whether the data should be interpreted as a scalar number, or bytes that will be parsed again downstream
  • Stale Age (ms) (default = 1000): Age from last valid data parsed when the block will output Is Valid as False

JSON Dump Block

JSON Dump Block

The JSON Dump block attempts to serialize the inputs to a byte representation of a JSON object

Inputs

  • x (dynamic): data that will be set as values of the output JSON

Outputs

  • bytes: the serialized JSON object as bytes

Parameters

  • Output Keys: The keys to add to the JSON object.
    • Label: The name of the input port corresponding to this value
    • Data Key: The name of the key that will be added to the JSON object
    • Encoding (Default | String): Select how the data will be encoded for output.
      • Default will attempt to encode to the corresponding numeric type (scalar, array, or matrix)
      • String will encode the the output value as a string. This is particularly useful if the input is bytes data that represents a string. For instance you can encode a JSON string and feed it as the input to another JSON Dump Block.

LibCamera Block

LibCamera Block

The LibCamera block allows you to trigger a photo using any LibCamera-supported camera. The camera will continue to trigger as long as the signal is high, and will write to the directory set in the parameters.

Parameters

  • Jpeg Quality (default = 93): Compression quality of the stored images.
  • Photo Directory (default = "/var/lib/pictorus/"): Directory to write images to.
    • Note: this directory must already exist on the file system and be writable by the application

Logical Block

Logical Block

The Logical block emits a boolean comparison of two input signals. It has four different modes of operation: And, Or, Nor, and Nand.

In Pictorus, any non-zero value is considered "Truthy", whereas "Falsy" is represented by 0.0.

Parameters

  • Method [And | Or | Nor | Nand]
    • And Emits True when both inputs are True (non-zero).
    • Or Emits True when either input is True (non-zero).
    • Nor Emits True when neither input is True (non-zero).
    • Nand Emits True when both inputs are False (zero).

Examples

Logical Example

Lookup 1d Block

Lookup 1d Block

The Lookup 1D block emits the linear interpolation of the input signal with respect to 1-dimensional Break Points (input references) and Data Points (output references) specified in the block parameters.

Each iteration, the block determines where the input signal falls within the Break Points array, and emits the interpolated value correspondingly from the Data Points array. If the input signal falls outside the bounds of the Break Points, it will choose the nearest point, thereby clamping the output to within the bounds of the Data Points array.

Break Points must be monotonically increasing to be valid. A sequence is monotonically increasing if each term is greater than or equal to the one before it.

This block is particularly useful when real-world tabulated data is known for some dynamical system, and rather than curve-fitting or approximating the system with an equation, a direct table lookup is preferred. Since linear interpolation is performed (as opposed to cubic or a higher order polynomial), large differences in consecutive Data Point values can lead to abrupt discontinuities in the output.

Parameters

  • Break Points (default = [-1, 1]): List of monotonically-increasing lookup points for interpolation against the input signal.
  • Data Points (default = [0, 1]): List of output values that correspond to each Break Point, between which intermediate outputs are computed proportionally.

Examples

Lookup 1D Example

Matrix Inverse Block

Matrix Inverse Block

The Matrix Inverse block emits the vector solution to the invertible matrix problem for an input matrix (2d vector). The input must square (rows == columns).

The second outport of the block emits True if the input was successfully inverted, False otherwise.

Parameters

  • Method [Inverse | SVD ]
    • Inverse: Emits the matrix inversion of the input, if it is indeed invertible.
    • SVD (experimental): Emits the Singular Value Decomposition Pseudoinverse of the input matrix. This is an iterative, least-square approximate solution. Although more computationally intensive, it better handles over-determined input, rank deficient input, and is more numerically stable.

Examples

Matrix inverse example
Inverting a square 2x2 matrix using the default Inverse method
Matrix inverse SVD example
Inverting a square 2x2 matrix using the SVD method, which solves the non-invertible example matrix. The Is Valid outport shows the SVD solution marked valid, while the normal inverse solution is invalid.

Min Max Block

Min Max Block

The Min/Max block emits either the minimum or maximum of all input signals, depending on the mode of operation specified.

Parameters

  • Method [Min | Max]
    • Min: Emit the smallest of all input signals.
    • Max: Emit the largest of all input signals.

Examples

Lookup 1D Example

Not Block

Not Block

The Not block returns the logical negation of the input signal. In Pictorus, all non-zero inputs are treated as "Truthy", and inputs exactly equal to 0.0 are treated as "Falsy". See "True" and "False" in a floating point world for more explanation.

Parameters

None

Examples

Not Example

Pid Block

Pid Block

The PID block emits the output of a Proportional-Integral-Derivative feedback controller.

PID controllers are a simple and intuitive way to perform closed-loop feedback control. Generally speaking, the input signal is some error you wish to minimize, and the output signal controls some affector of the input signal. An example would be controlling an aircraft rudder to minimize yaw rate.

The output of the PID controller is the simple the sum of three terms: The Proportional (P), the Integral (I), and the Derivative (I), which each have their own gain to tune.

Parameters

  • Kp (default = 1.0): Proportional gain to apply directly to the input signal
  • Ki (default = 0.0): Gain to apply to the integral of the input signal. See Integral Block for more information on how integration is computed.
  • Kd (default = 0.0): Gain to apply to the derivative of the input signal. See Derivative Block for more information on how derivatives are computed.
  • Kd_samples (default = 3): Number of prior samples to use to compute the derivative over. More samples tends to smooth the derivative, but also introduces phase lag.
  • I_max (default = 1e100): Maximum value the Integral term can attain. By default effectively set to infinity. Setting a lower value can help prevent integral windup.

Example

PID Example
PD Controller with Kp = 10, Kd = 0.5, attempting to control an imaginary actuator modeled simply as an integrator with lag.

Plot Block

Plot Block

The Plot block visualizes input signals as timeseries in browser. It allows an arbitrary number of inputs. The visualization permits toggling of individual signals in the plot, as well as zooming.

During Simulation Mode, the time plotted on the X-axis is simulated time, and the entire plot renders at once. When connected to real hardware, the time represents real app time, and shows up to 60 seconds of recent telemetry.

Parameters

None

Examples

Plot Example

Product Block

Product Block

The Product block emits the result of multiplication (and/or division) of all its input signals.

Parameters

  • Method [Component-Wise | MatrixMultiply]: Specifies the component-wise (element by element) product, or matrix multiplication. For matrix multiply, the resulting matrix has the number of rows of the first and the number of columns of the second matrix.

Example

Product Example

Pwm Block

Pwm Block

The PWM block is used to send PWM (Pulse-width Modulation) signals to a specified address.

Parameters

  • PWM Number (default = 0): The PWM pin to control.
    • For raspberry pi: If 0 or 1 is specified, the block will attempt to control one of the hardware PWM pins (PWM0 = GPIO 12; PWM1 = GPIO 13). Any other pin number will attempt to control the given GPIO pin using software PWM. For use-cases that require high frequency and/or high accuracy PWM signals, a hardware implementation is preferred.

Quantize Block

Quantize Block

The Quantize block rounds the input signal to the nearest increment specified by the Interval parameter.

Parameters

  • Interval (default = 1.0): Discrete increments to quantize to.

Examples

Quantize Example

Ramp Block

Ramp Block

The Ramp block emits a signal which linearly ramps from zero at Start Time with a slope specified by Rate.

Parameters

  • Rate (default = 1.0): Specifies the slope/rate of the ramp.
  • Start Time (default = 1.0): Specifies when to start the ramp.

Examples

Ramp Example

Random Number Block

Random Number Block

The Random Number block emits pseudo-random numbers, representing a normal distribution defined by its Mean and Std2 (Standard Deviation, squared).

More details on the definition of normal distributions.

This pseudo-random number generator is often used to model the noise present in a sensor measurement.

Parameters

  • Mean (default = 0.0): The average value around which the distribution is centered.
  • STD2 (default = 1.0): The square of the standard deviation of the distribution.

Examples

Random Number Example

Rate Limit Block

Rate Limit Block

The Rate Limit block will emit the input signal, but constraining the rate of change of the signal as specified by the Rising and Falling rates.

Parameters

  • Rising Rate (default = 1.0) The block's output cannot increase by more than this value per second.
  • Falling Rate (default = -1.0) The block's output cannot decrease by more than this value per second.

Examples

Rate Limit Example

Rust Code Block

Rust Code Block

The Rust Code block allows users to inject small Rust functions into their Pictorus app.

The syntax is currently pretty brittle, and only allows native functions (no imported crates). Eventually we'll support more a robust crate system. In the mean time, this is a great way to introduce a quick for loop, or similar need that may be tricky to diagram with the existing block set.

Examples

Example implementation of the Collatz Conjecture using a Rust Code block: Rust Code Example

Scatter Plot Block

Scatter Plot Block

The Scatter Plot block renders a plot of two signals along two axes, with the first signal mapping to the x (horizontal) axis, and the second signal mapping to the y (vertical) axis.

Parameters

None

Examples

Scatter Plot Example

Serial Receive Block

Serial Receive Block

The Serial Receive block reads data from the specified serial port. It will continue to output the last received value until new data is read.

Inputs

  • Sim Input: Optional bytes data that will be passed through in simulation mode

Outputs

  • bytes: bytes received from the port.
  • Is Valid: A boolean representing whether the data is valid as determined by the Stale Age (ms) param

Parameters

  • Baud Rate (default = 9600): Baud rate to use
  • Port (default = "/dev/ttyUSB0"): Port to connect to
  • Start Delimiter (default = "$"): String or bytes that indicate the start of a message. For a bytes literal, escape the characters using \x (i.e. \x20 for the unicode ' ' corresponding to the hexadecimal value 0x20).
  • End Delimiter (default = "\r\n"): String or bytes that indicate the end of a message.
  • Read Fixed Bytes (default = 0): Fixed number of bytes to read after Start Delimiter. If this is set to a non-zero value it will take precedence over End Delimiter
  • Stale Age (ms) (default = 1000): Age from last valid data received when the block will output Is Valid as False

Serial Transmit Block

Serial Transmit Block

The Serial Transmit block publishes data to the specified serial port.

Inputs

  • bytes: bytes that will be published to the destination port.

Parameters

  • Port (default = "/dev/ttyUSB0"): Port to connect to
  • Baud Rate (default = 9600): Baud rate to use
  • Start Delimiter (default = "$"): String or bytes that will prefix each message. For a bytes literal, escape the characters using \x (i.e. \x20 for the unicode ' ' corresponding to the hexadecimal value 0x20).
  • End Delimiter (default = "\r\n"): String or bytes that will suffix each message.

Sinewave Block

Sinewave Block

The Sinewave block emits a sinusoidal curve, defined by its amplitude, bias, frequency, and phase.

Parameters

  • Amplitude (default = 1): Defines the peak magnitude of the sinewave from zero.
  • Bias (default = 0): Defines a vertical bias to apply to all values.
  • Frequency [rad/s] (default = 1): Defines the number of oscillations each second.
  • Phase: (default = 0): Defines (in radians) where in its cycle the oscillation is at t = 0.

Examples

Sinewave Example

Sliding Window Block

Sliding Window Block

The Sliding Window block emits a list of the last N samples of the input signal. Vectors and matrices are concatenated.

Parameters

  • Samples (default = 3): Magnitude of the squarewave's oscillation.

Examples

Sliding Window Example

Square Wave Block

Square Wave Block

The Square Wave block emits a signal forming a squarewave. The squarewave will alternate between the Amplitude and the Bias specified. Duration parameters dictate how long the signal will remain high or low.

Parameters

  • Amplitude (default = 1): Magnitude of the squarewave's oscillation.
  • Bias (default = 0): Specifies the "low" value for the wave.
  • On Duration (default = 1): Specifies (in seconds) how long to maintain the "high" value.
  • Off Duration (default = 1): Specifies (in seconds) how long to maintain the "low" value.

Examples

Squarewave Example

State Transition Block

State Transition Block

The State Transition block triggers the app to transition from one State to another based on whether the input signal is "True".

State Transition blocks are added automatically to a diagram when new connections between States are drawn at the top level of that diagram. Alternatively, you can place a transition block directly within a diagram to create a transition to another state.

Parameters

  • State Name: Selected state (from list of potential states) to transition to if the input trigger is True.

Examples

State Transition Example

String Format Block

String Format Block

The String Format block emits bytes constructed by formatting its input values through a Format String parameter.

Parameters

  • Format String (default = "Hello, {}!"): Format string to use for constructing the output bytes. The format string must contain one or more {} placeholders, which will be replaced by the input values in the order they are passed in. The number of inputs must exactly match the number of placeholders. Formatting strings are specified using the Rust String formatting syntax.

Examples

String Format Example

Sum Block

Sum Block

The Sum block emits the summation of all input signals. Signals can optionally be subtracted, by specifying so in parameters.

Examples

Sum Example

Switch Block

Switch Block

The Switch block emits one of several potential output signals, depending on the Condition (first) input and the cases specified in block settings. If the Conditional input does not match any of the cases, the last case is defaulted to.

This is currently the primary block for "if/else" style logic in Pictorus. Worth noting however, that the Switch block does not gate execution of upstream blocks. Meaning, all input signals will be computed prior to checking the conditional. If it is important that one of the signals is only computed when the condition matches, then you should use Conditional Execution.

Examples

Switch Example

System Time Block

System Time Block

The System Time block emits time as defined by the host computer operating system. There are many options to choose from, depending on what exactly you're hoping to do with system time.

Parameters

  • Method [Epoch | Second | Minute | Hour | DayLunar | DayOrdinal | Month | Year]
    • Epoch: Emits seconds since the Unix Epoch
    • Second: Emits the second value of the current minute.
    • Minute: Emits the minute value of the current hour.
    • Hour: Emits the hour value of the current day.
    • DayLunar: Emits the day value of the current month.
    • DayOrdinal: Emits the day value of the current year.
    • Month: Emits the month value of the current year.
    • Year: Emits the value of the current year.

Examples

System Time Example

Timer Block

Timer Block

The Timer block allows timekeeping around discrete events - either by Stopwatch mode or Countdown mode.

The input signal serves as the trigger to start the timer. Any input which is "True" will commence the timer. If the Interruptible option is enabled, the timer will reset every iteration where the input is True. Otherwise, the timer will commence on the first True value. It will then either count down and reset at zero, or count up without ever restarting.

This block is useful for tracking how much time has passed since an event for logical conditions.

Parameters

  • Countdown Time S: (default = 10s): Specifies where to begin the CountDown timer, if selected.
  • Interruptible: (default = True): Specifies whether the timer will restart with subsequent True trigger input.
  • Method [CountDown | StopWatch]
    • CountDown: Once initiated, the timer will emit a countdown, starting from the Countdown Time S parameter, which will reach zero and then reset.
    • StopWatch: Once initiated, the timer will emit the seconds since it began. It will count forever, unless Interruptible.

Examples

Timer Example

Transfer Function Block

Transfer Function Block

This block is experimental at this time

The Transfer Function block emits the discrete Transfer Function of the input signal, determined by numerator and denominator coefficients specified in block parameters.

The Transfer function is fundamentally the ratio between the output and the input signals. As such, the default numerator and denominator coefficients of 1.0 will simply emit the input signal by default.

Parameters

  • Denominators (default = [1])
  • Numerators (default = [1])

Examples

Transfer Function Example

Transpose Block

Transpose Block

The Transpose block emits the vector transposition of an input vector, essentially swapping rows and columns.

Examples

Transpose example

Trigonometry Block

Trigonometry Block

The Trigonometry block emits simple trigonometric operations on the input signal.

Parameters

  • Method [Sine | Cosine | Tangent]
    • Sine: Emits the sine (in radians) of the input signal.
    • Cosine: Emits the cosine (in radians) of the input signal.
    • Tangent: Emits the tangent (in radians) of the input signal.

Examples

Trigonometry

UDP Receive Block

UDP Receive Block

The UDP Receive block reads data from the specified port. It will continue to output the last received value until new data is read.

Inputs

  • Sim Input: Optional bytes data that will be passed through in simulation mode

Outputs

  • bytes: bytes received from the socket.
  • Is Valid: A boolean representing whether the data is valid as determined by the Stale Age (ms) param

Parameters

  • Address (default = "127.0.0.1:34254"): The IP and port to bind to for receiving data.
  • Stale Age (ms) (default = 1000): Age from last valid data received when the block will output Is Valid as False

UDP Transmit Block

UDP Transmit Block

The UDP Transmit block publishes data to the specified address.

Inputs

  • bytes: bytes that will be published to the destination address.

Parameters

  • Destination (default = "127.0.0.1:34254"): The IP and port to publish data to.

Vector Index Block

Vector Index Block

The Vector Index block emits individual elements of its input vector. Users add indices of interest from the parameters panel to include in the subset output. Linear (flat) indices are used, so 2d vectors of row/cols must be specified in the linear index equivalent.

Currently, "slicing" a vector takes a few steps. You must enter each index of interest manually, and then use a Vector Merge block to create the subset. Outputting as a slice will be released during Beta.

Examples

Vector index example
To index the 2nd row, 2nd column value (4), we specify the linear index 3. Additional indices can also be specified.

Vector Merge Block

Vector Merge Block

The Vector Merge block emits a combined vector of its inputs. It will flatten multi-dimensional input vectors and always emit a 1D vector. It accepts both vector and scalar inputs

Examples

Vector from scalars example
Scalars can be merged into a vector.
Vector from vectors example
Vectors of various dimensions can be merged into a new, flat vector.

Vector Norm Block

Vector Norm Block

The Vector Norm block emits a norm (scalar magnitude) of the input vector. More specifically, it computes the Frobenius norm of a matrix, which is a generalization of the Euclidean norm for matrices.

Examples

Vector norm example

Vector Reshape Block

Vector Reshape Block

The Vector Reshape block emits a reshaped version of the input vector. Order of elements will be maintained, and the reshaped dimensions must result in the same number of elements as the original input vector.

Parameters

  • Shape (default = [2,2]): Specifies the output shape (rows, cols)

Examples

Vector reshape example

Vector Slice Block

Vector Slice Block

The Vector Slice block outputs an arbitrary sub-vector from within a larger vector, given a starting row, column position and output shape (rows,columns).

Parameters

  • Row0 (default = 0): Starting row in input vector.
  • Col0 (default = 0): Starting column in input vector.
  • Shape (default = [1,2]): Shape of output in row,column format.

Examples

Vector Slice Example

This section covers an overview of the various features available in the Pictorus platform. Some of these features are still in alpha testing, so you may need to contact us to get access to them.

Custom Scripts

Pictorus currently supports in-app Python scripting that executes prior to device deploys or simulation runs. This pre-compile scripting feature allows advanced engineering analysis and variable declaration, which is then passed along to the Rust compiler.

Create Script

This feature is particularly useful for declaring app variables before compiling the core simulation or on-device code. Users can leverage Python libraries such as NumPy or Pandas to handle pre-compile functions.

For instance, here we are utilizing a Python script to tune Kalman filter matrices that are then run in a position-estimator app:

Kalman filter

Additional Notes

It's important to recognize that Python scripts are not executed at runtime. All Pictorus apps are 100% compiled Rust.

Currently, plotting and other visualizations are not enabled. Post-processing scripts which will include visualizations are currently in development.

Custom Blocks

Custom blocks are currently in alpha. Please contact us if you'd like to try them out.

Pictorus allows users to create custom blocks written in Rust. These blocks can then be included in diagrams just like core blocks. This is useful for adding functionality that doesn't yet exist in Pictorus, or for adding custom hardware drivers. Custom blocks can pull in external Rust crates, so many complex use cases can be handled simply by creating a thin wrapper around an existing library.

Creating a Custom Block

To create a custom block, click on the "Custom Blocks" tab in the left sidebar. Then click the "Create Block" button. This will open a new block editor window that will ask you to input some basic details about your block, such as name, inputs/outputs, and any crates you want to import. Once you've finished with the "Block Definition" tab, you can switch to the "Code" tab. Here you will need to implement the required trait used to define block behavior. At this point you can run "Save & Check", which will save your block as a draft and attempt to validate it. Once checks have passed, you will see an option to "Add Block". Clicking this will make the draft live and add the new custom block to your block palette.

Editing a Custom Block

Blocks can be edited after they've been published to your library. To edit a block, click on the "Custom Blocks" tab in the left sidebar. Then click on the block you want to edit. This will open the code view of your block editor window. You can make any changes you want. You will then need to run "Save & Check" to validate your changes, and then you can click "Update Block" to make the changes live.

Note on editing blocks

Currently only one published version of a block can exist at a time. This means that if you make changes to a block and publish them, any diagrams that use the old version of the block will be updated to use the new version. If you're changes are likely to break existing apps, we suggest creating a new block instead of editing the existing one. You can easily fork a block by clicking the three dots on the block card and selecting "Duplicate".

Source Control Integration

Source Control Integration is currently in alpha. Please contact us if you'd like to try it out.

Pictorus allows users to integrate with their own source control repositories. This allows you to keep your code in sync with your Pictorus projects, and to use your own CI/CD pipelines to deploy your code to devices. Currently we only support GitHub, and syncing is one-way (from Pictorus to GitHub). Syncing to source control is done by creating a pull request containing the generated code for a specific app version. This allows you to easily see changes between versions, and to review and approve changes before they are merged.

Connecting to GitHub

First, create a new repository in GitHub to store the code for the app you want to sync. You should create a new repository for each app you want to sync, and the repository should be initialized with a README file.

Next, you'll need to install the Pictorus GitHub app on your GitHub account. Navigate to the Pictorus Sync app in GitHub and click the "Install" button. You will be prompted to select which repositories the app can access. Select the repository you created in the previous step. Note the installation ID that is displayed after you've installed the app. You'll need this later. This can also be found by navigating to your GitHub account settings, selecting "Installed GitHub Apps", and then clicking on the Pictorus Sync app. The installation ID is displayed as the last portion of the URL.

Now navigate to your account settings in Pictorus and fill in the "GitHub Settings" section with the following information:

  • Owner: The owner of the repository you created in the first step. This is the portion of the repository URL before the repo name. For instance, if your repository URL is https://github.com/My-Org/pictorus_app, then the owner is My-Org.
  • Repository: The name of the repository you created in the first step. This can also be overridden on a per-app basis if you want to sync multiple apps. This can be found in the settings section of apps after initial GitHub setup is complete.
  • Main Branch: The branch you want to create pull requests into. This should be the default branch for the repository (usually main).
  • Installation ID: The installation ID you noted in the previous step.

Syncing an App

Once you've connected your account to GitHub, you can sync an app by navigating to the "Version History" tab in the left sidebar. Click "Create Version", and check the "Create Pull Request" checkbox. This will create a new version of your app and automatically create a pull request in GitHub.

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TERM. This Agreement continues until the end of the Beta Period or until earlier terminated in accordance with this Section 6, whichever occurs first. Pictorus may immediately terminate this Agreement upon written notice if you fail to comply with any term of this Agreement . Upon termination of this Agreement, you agree to stop using the Beta Software immediately and to destroy any related documentation together with all copies in any form. THE BETA SOFTWARE MAY CONTAIN CODE THAT WILL DISABLE YOUR ACCESS TO THE BETA SOFTWARE UPON EXPIRATION OR TERMINATION OF THIS AGREEMENT. Those provisions of this Agreement that by their terms should survive any termination or expiration of this Agreement will be deemed to survive and remain in full force and effect, including, without limitation, Sections 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13. DISCLAIMER. YOU ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE THAT: (A) THE BETA SOFTWARE LICENSED HEREUNDER IS EXPERIMENTAL AND IT HAS NOT YET BEEN COMPLETELY TESTED, IMPLEMENTED OR DEBUGGED BY PICTORUS, (B) YOUR USE OF THE BETA SOFTWARE IS AT YOUR OWN RISK AND (C) THE BETA SOFTWARE IS OFFERED "AS IS" AND YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE ANY WARRANTY OR SUPPORT OF ANY KIND. PICTORUS SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIMS AND EXCLUDES ALL WARRANTIES, CONDITIONS AND REPRESENTATIONS, WHETHER EXPRESS, IMPLIED, STATUTORY OR OTHERWISE, INCLUDING THOSE RELATED TO MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, SATISFACTORY QUALITY, QUIET ENJOYMENT, AND NON-INFRINGEMENT AND THOSE ARISING OUT OF COURSE OF DEALING AND USAGE OF TRADE.

INDEMNITIES. You agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Pictorus from and against any and all liabilities, losses, penalties, fines, costs, damages and expenses (including reasonable attorneys' fees and legal costs, which shall be reimbursed as incurred) arising from or relating to or based on any of the following: (a) your use of the Beta Software or (b) any material breach of this Agreement by you.

LIMITATION OF LIABILITY. TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW, IN NO EVENT SHALL PICTORUS BE LIABLE TO YOU FOR ANY INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, PUNITIVE, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING FOR THE INDIRECT LOSS OF PROFIT, REVENUE OR DATA) ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THIS AGREEMENT, HOWEVER CAUSED AND UNDER WHATEVER CAUSE OF ACTION OR THEORY OF LIABILITY BROUGHT (INCLUDING UNDER ANY CONTRACT, NEGLIGENCE OR OTHER TORT THEORY OF LIABILITY) EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES AND NOTWITHSTANDING ANY FAILURE OF THE ESSENTIAL PURPOSE OF THIS AGREEMENT OR ANY LIMITED REMEDY HEREUNDER. IN NO EVENT SHALL PICTORUS’ LIABILITY EXCEED THE AMOUNT PAID BY YOU TO PICTORUS UNDER THIS AGREEMENT OR FIFTY DOLLARS (USD $50), WHICHEVER IS GREATER.

INJUNCTIVE RELIEF. You agree that in the event of a material breach of this Agreement by You, including, without limitation, a breach of Sections 2 or 3, Pictorus shall be entitled to seek immediate injunctive relief in any court of competent jurisdiction, without limiting its other rights and remedies and without the need to post bond or prove no adequate remedy at law.

CONFIDENTIALITY.

CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION. You will (and will ensure that your employees, subcontractorsand agents will) maintain the strict confidentiality of the Beta Software and all information and materials contained in or available through the Beta Software and all information and materials conveyed by Pictorus to you hereunder, including but not limited to, financial records, marketing information and the Beta Software’s features and modes of operation, inventions (whether or not patentable), techniques, processes, algorithms, schematics, testing procedures, software design and architecture, computer code, internal documentation, design and function specifications, analysis and performance information, user documentation and other technical information, plans and data (collectively, the "Pictorus Proprietary Information"). Your confidentiality obligations do not apply to information that becomes part of the public domain through no act or omission of yours or is in your lawful possession without violation of obligations to Pictorus prior to the date of this Agreement, as demonstrated by written documentation.

NON-DISCLOSURE. You will not permit anyone other than your employees with a bona fide need to know to access or use the Pictorus Proprietary Information. You will not disclose the Pictorus Proprietary Information to any third party and will not use the Pictorus Proprietary Information other than to perform testing of the Beta Software as provided in this Agreement as expressly authorized hereunder.

GOVERNING LAW AND JURISDICTION. This Agreement will be governed by and interpreted in accordance with the laws of the State of California, without giving effect to any principles of conflict of laws. The parties expressly agree that the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods and the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act will not apply to this Agreement. Any legal action or proceeding arising under this Agreement will be brought exclusively in the federal or state courts located in San Francisco, California and the parties irrevocably consent to the personal jurisdiction and venue therein.

MISCELLANEOUS.

ASSIGNMENT. You may not transfer or assign your rights under this Agreement, in whole or in part, by operation of law or otherwise, without the prior written consent of Pictorus. For purposes of this Section, an assignment includes any change of control of you and any merger or acquisition of you, regardless of whether you are the surviving or disappearing entity. Any attempted assignment without such consent will be null and of no effect. Pictorus may assign or transfer this Agreement without restriction. Subject to the foregoing, this Agreement shall bind and inure to the benefit of the parties, their respective successors and permitted assigns.

SEVERABILITY. In the event that any provision of this Agreement is deemed by a court of competent jurisdiction to be illegal, invalid or unenforceable, the court will modify or reform this Agreement to give as much effect as possible to such provision. Any provision which cannot be so modified or reformed will be deleted and the remaining provisions of this Agreement will continue in full force and effect.

NOTICES. All notices provided hereunder will be in writing, delivered personally, by e-mail or sent by overnight courier, registered or certified mail to an address as may be specified in writing by notice given in accordance with this Section 13.3. All such notices will be deemed to have been given: (a) upon receipt when delivered personally, (b) upon receipt when delivered by e-mail, or (c) in the case of overnight courier, one weekday after delivery to the overnight courier.

WAIVER. Performance of any obligations required by a party hereunder may be waived only by a written waiver signed by an authorized representative of the other party, which waiver will be effective only with respect to the specific obligation described therein. Any waiver or failure to enforce any provision of this Agreement on one occasion will not be deemed a waiver of any other provision or of such provision on any other occasion.

INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS. You and Pictorus are and will be deemed to be, independent contractors with respect to the subject matter of this Agreement and nothing contained in this Agreement will be deemed or construed in any manner whatsoever as creating any partnership, joint venture, employment, agency, fiduciary or other similar relationship between you and Pictorus.

ENTIRE AGREEMENT. This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement and understanding of the parties with respect to the subject matter of this Agreement and supersedes any and all prior understandings and agreements, whether oral or written, between the parties with respect to the subject matter of this Agreement.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 6, 2023

This Pictorus, Inc. (“Pictorus”) Privacy Policy (“Policy”) describes how Pictorus collects, uses, discloses, and otherwise processes the personal information described in this Policy, as well as the rights and choices individuals have regarding such personal information.

For information about the privacy choices, you have regarding your personal information, review Section 7. Your Privacy Choices below, as well as Section 12. Additional Privacy Information for European Economic Area (EEA) and the United Kingdom (UK) Residents, which includes additional information about privacy rights for residents of the EU and UK.

Your use of our Services (defined below), and any dispute over privacy, is subject to this Policy and our Terms of Use, available at https://www.docs.pictor.us/legal/terms_of_use.html, including their applicable limitations on damages and the resolution of disputes.

1. Scope

Except as otherwise noted below, this Policy applies to the personal information that Pictorus processes as a business related to:

  • users of our websites where this Policy is posted, including at https://www.pictor.us/, our SaaS platform, and the services we provide through these, as well as any downloadable software, applications, and other products and services provided by us that display or include a link to this Policy (collectively, the “Services”).
  • individuals who register for or participate in our webinars and other events;
  • current, former and prospective customers, vendors and partners;
  • individuals who are subscribed to receive news, information, and marketing communications from us; and
  • individuals that communicate with us or otherwise engage with us related to our Services.

Not In Scope. This Policy does not apply to the personal information that we collect and process about Pictorus employees and personnel or job applicants and candidates.

2. Personal Information Collected

As further described below, we collect personal information directly from individuals, from third parties, and automatically when such data relates to the use of our Services or other interactions with us.

Personal Information Collected Directly. The personal information we collect from you depends upon how you use our Services or otherwise interact or engage with us, but generally includes:

  • Registration information. When you register or sign up for our services, we may collect certain personal information from you, such as your name, email address, phone number, and employer.
  • Payments and purchases. When you make a purchase or payment through the Services, we collect purchase and payment information in order to process your payment, such as your credit card number and applicable billing address. We also maintain records about your past purchases in connection with the Services we provide.
  • Communications and interactions. When you email, call, or otherwise communicate with us and with members of our team, we collect and maintain a record of your contact details, communications, and our responses. We also maintain records communications and information you provide to us related to any customer support requests.
  • Events and other requests. We also collect personal information related to your participation in our events as well as other requests that you submit to us related to our Services. For example, if you register for or attend an event or webinar that we host or sponsor, we may collect information related to your registration for and participation in such event. When you complete our “Early Access” form or otherwise request information from us, we collect and maintain records of your requests.

Personal Information from Third Parties. We may collect personal information about you from third party sources, such as public databases, joint marketing partners, social media platforms or other third parties.

  • Lead and Prospect Information. We may receive lead and prospect information from third parties about prospective customers that may be interested in our Services. We may also engage with third parties to enhance or update our customer information.
  • Third Party Accounts. You may choose to log into the Services through various third-party accounts, such as Google and/or GitHub. When you connect to our services using your third-party account, we may collect or receive personal information about you that you have provided to that account holder.
  • Third Party Platforms. If you post information about us or engage with us on third party platforms, we may collect personal information about you from that third party platform or account (e.g., to better understand who is viewing our page and to respond to your communications). These third-party platforms and services control the information they collect and share about you. For information about how they may use and disclose your information, including any information you make public, please consult their respective privacy policies.

Personal Information Collected Automatically. We automatically collect personal information related to your use of our Services and interactions with us and others, including information we collect automatically (e.g., cookies, pixel tags, etc.), as well as information we derive about you and your use of the Services. Such information includes:

  • Device and browsing information. We use cookies, log files, pixel tags and other tracking technologies to automatically collect information when users access or use our Services, such as IP address, general location information, domain name, page views, a date/time stamp, browser type, device type, device ID, Internet service provider, referring and exiting URLs, operating system, language, clickstream data, and similar device and usage information. For more information, see Section 6. Cookies, Targeting and Analytics, below.
  • Activities and usage. We collect activity information related to your use of the Services, such as information about the links clicked, searches, features used, items viewed, and time spent within the Services.
  • Session-Replay. We use session-replay technologies provided by third parties to record your interactions with the Services to help us diagnose problems and to improve our Services. These technologies allow us to watch a visual playback of user sessions on our Services and capture your activities such as clock, mouse movements, scrolls, and keystrokes/key touches when you use of Services.
  • Location information. We may collect or derive location information about you, such as through your IP address. Further, with your permission, we may collect geolocation information from your device. You may turn off location data sharing through your device settings.

3. Purposes of Use and Processing

Generally, we collect, use, disclose and otherwise process the personal information we collect for the following purposes:

  • Services and support. To provide and operate our Services, communicate with you about your use of the Services, provide troubleshooting and technical support, respond to your inquiries, fulfill your orders and requests, process your payments, communicate with you about the Services, and for similar service and support purposes.
  • Analytics and improvement. To better understand how users access and use the Services and for other research and analytical purposes, such as to evaluate and improve our Services and business operations, to develop services and features, and for internal quality control and training purposes.
  • Marketing and advertising. For marketing and advertising purposes. For example, to send you information about our Services, such as offers, promotions, newsletters, and other marketing content, as well as any other information that you sign up to receive. We also may use certain information we collect to manage and improve our advertising campaigns so that we can better reach people with relevant content.
  • Research and surveys. To administer surveys and questionnaires, such as for market research or member satisfaction purposes.
  • Security and protection of rights. To protect the Services and our business operations; to protect our rights or those of our stakeholders; to prevent and detect fraud, unauthorized activities and access, and other misuse; where we believe necessary to investigate, prevent or take action regarding illegal activities, suspected fraud, situations involving potential threats to the safety or legal rights of any person or third party, or violations of our Terms of Use.
  • Compliance and legal process. To comply with the law and our legal obligations, to respond to legal process and related to legal proceedings.
  • General business and operational support. To consider and implement mergers, acquisitions, reorganizations, bankruptcies, and other business transactions such as financings, and related to the administration of our general business, accounting, auditing, compliance, recordkeeping, and legal functions.

4. Disclosures of Personal Information

We may disclose the personal information that we collect for the purposes described above, in order to provide our Services to you, to respond to and fulfil your orders and requests, as otherwise directed or consented to by you, and as follows:

  • Vendors and service providers. We may disclose personal information we collect to our service providers, processors and others who perform functions on our behalf. These may include, for example, IT service providers, help desk, payment processors, analytics providers, consultants, auditors, and legal counsel.
  • Our business clients. Any data that we collect and process on behalf of a business client will be disclosed to the business client and otherwise shared as directed by that business client.
  • Third party platforms, providers, and networks. We may disclose or make available personal information to third party platforms and providers that we use to provide or make available certain features or portions of the Services, or as necessary to respond to your requests. We may also make certain information that includes personal information available to third parties in support of our marketing, analytics, advertising, and campaign management (see Section 6. Cookies, Targeting and Analytics for more information).
  • In support of business transfers. If we are or may be acquired by, merged with, or invested in by another company, or if any of our assets are or may be transferred to another company, whether as part of a bankruptcy or insolvency proceeding or otherwise, we may transfer the information we have collected from you to the other company. We may also share certain personal information as necessary prior to the completion of such a transaction or corporate transactions such as financings or restructurings, to lenders, auditors, and third-party advisors, including attorneys and consultants, as part of due diligence or as necessary to plan for a transaction.
  • Compliance and legal obligations. We may also disclose personal information to third parties to comply with our legal and compliance obligations and to respond to legal process. For example, we may disclose information in response to subpoenas, court orders, and other lawful requests by regulators and law enforcement, including responding to national security or law enforcement disclosure requirements. This may include regulators, government entities, and law enforcement as required by law or legal process. In addition, it may include certain disclosures that we are required to make under applicable laws.
  • Security and protection of rights. We may disclose personal information where we believe doing so is necessary to protect the Services, our rights and property, or the rights, property, and safety of others. For example, we may disclose personal information in order to (i) prevent, detect, investigate and respond to fraud, unauthorized activities and access, illegal activities, and misuse of the Services, (ii) situations involving potential threats to the health, safety or legal rights of any person or third party, or (iii) enforce, and detect, investigate and take action in response to violations of, our Terms of Use. We may also disclose information, including personal information, related to litigation and other legal claims or proceedings in which we are involved, as well as for our internal accounting, auditing, compliance, recordkeeping, and legal functions.

5. Aggregate Data and Non-identifiable Data

We may also use and disclose aggregate and other non-identifiable data related to our business and the Services for quality control, analytics, research, development, and other purposes. For example, when you connect your device to the Services, we collect the operating system and/or chip architecture the device machine runs on.

6.Cookies, Targeting and Analytics

We and our third-party service providers use cookies, pixels, local storage objects, log files, APIs, and other mechanisms to automatically collect information browsing, activity, device, and similar information within our Services. We use this information to, for example, analyze and understand how users access, use and interact with others through our Services, as well to identify and resolve bugs and errors in our Services and to assess secure, protect, optimize and improve the performance of our Services. You have certain choices about our use of cookies and tracking within the Services, as described in this section. For more information on the types of personal information we collect via cookies and similar mechanisms, please see Section 2. Personal Information Collected.

Cookies. Cookies are alphanumeric identifiers that we transfer to your device’s hard drive through your web browser for record-keeping purposes. Some cookies allow us to make it easier for you to navigate our Services, while others are used to enable a faster log-in process, support the security and performance of the Services, or allow us to track activity and usage data within Service.

Pixel tags. Pixel tags (sometime called web beacons or clear GIFs) are tiny graphics with a unique identifier, similar in function to cookies. While cookies are stored locally on your device, pixel tags are embedded invisibly within web pages and online content. We may use these, in connection with our Services to, among other things, track the activities of users, help us manage content and compile usage statistics. We may also use these in HTML e-mails we send, to help us track e-mail response rates, identify when our e-mails are viewed, and track whether our e-mails are forwarded.

Local storage objects. Local storage is a web storage mechanism that allows us to store data on a browser that persists even after the browser window is closed. Local storage may be used by our web servers to cache certain information in order enable faster loading of pages and content when you return to our websites. You can clear data stored in local storage through your browser. Please consult your browser help menu for more information.

Third-Party Analytics and Tools. We use third party tools, such as Google Analytics, which are operated by third party companies. These third-party analytics companies may collect usage data (using cookies, pixels, and similar tools) about our Services in order to provide us with reports and metrics that help us to evaluate usage of our Services and improve performance and user experiences. You can also download the Google Analytics Opt-out Browser Add-on to prevent their data from being used by Google Analytics at https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout.

Cross-device Tracking. We and our third-party providers may use the information that we collect about you within our Services and on other third-party sites and services to help us and these third parties to identify other devices that you use (e.g., a mobile phone, tablet, other computer, etc.). This information may be used as set forth in this section and Section 6. Cookies, Targeting and Analytics.

Targeted Advertising. We work with third parties, such as ad networks, channel partners, mobile ad networks, analytics and measurement services and others (“third-party ad companies”) to personalize content, as well as to manage our advertising on third-party sites and mobile apps. We may share certain information with these third-party ad companies, and we and they may use cookies, pixels tags, and other tools to collect usage and browsing information within our Services, as well as on third-party sites, apps., and services, such as IP address, location information, device ID, cookie and advertising IDs, and other identifiers, as well as browsing information. We and these third-party ad companies use this information to provide you more relevant ads and content on third-party sites and apps, and to evaluate the success of such ads and content.

Managing Your Preferences. We make available several ways for you to manage your preferences regarding targeted advertising and cookies within our Services. Many of these are browser and device specific, which means that you need to set the preference for each browser and device you use to access our Services; in addition, if you delete or block cookies, you may need to reapply these preferences. Further, opting out of cookies and advertising as discussed below does not mean that you will no longer receive advertising content from us. You may continue to receive generic or “contextual” ads from us.

  • Industry ad choice programs. You can also control how participating third-party ad companies use the information that they collect about your visits to our websites and those of third parties, in order to display more relevant targeted advertising to you. If you are in the U.S., you can obtain more information and opt out of receiving targeted ads from participating third-party ad networks at aboutads.info/choices (Digital Advertising Alliance). You may also download the DAA AppChoices (https://youradchoices.com/appchoices) tool in order to help control interest-based advertising on apps on your mobile device. In addition, users in the EU may obtain more information at the following links:
    • EU Users: https://youronlinechoices.eu/ (European Interactive Digital Advertising Alliance)

Please note that opting out of participating ad networks does not opt you out of being served advertising. You may continue to receive generic or ‘contextual’ ads. You may also continue to receive targeted ads on other websites from companies that do not participate in the above programs.

  • Browser settings. If you wish to prevent cookies from tracking your activity on our website or visits across multiple websites, you can set your browser to block certain cookies or notify you when a cookie is set; you can also delete cookies. The Help portion of the toolbar on most browsers will tell you how to prevent your device from accepting new cookies, how to have the browser notify you when you receive a new cookie, or how to delete cookies. Visitors to our Services who disable cookies will be able to browse the Site, but some features may not function.

7. Your Privacy Choices

We make available a number of ways that you can manage your privacy choices and submit privacy requests related to your personal information. These include:

  • Pictorus Account. You can review and update much of the personal information we maintain about you by logging into your account and updating your information.
  • Marketing communications. You can opt out of receive marketing emails from us by using the unsubscribe link in the footer of each marketing email we send to you.

For more information about our privacy practices and your privacy choices, you may contact us as set forth in the ‘Contact Us’ section below.

8. Children/Minors

Our Services are not designed for children, and we do not knowingly collect personal information from children under the age of majority. If we learn that personal information has been collected on the Services from persons under the age of majority, then we will take the appropriate steps to delete this information. If you are a parent or legal guardian and you believe we have collected your child’s information in violation of applicable law, please contact us using the contact information below in Section 11. Contact Us.

9. Security

We have implemented safeguards that are intended to protect the personal information we collect from loss, misuse, and unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration, and destruction. Please be aware that despite our efforts, no data security measures can guarantee security.

10. Changes to this Policy

This Policy is current as of the Effective Date set forth above. We may change this Policy from time to time, so please be sure to check back periodically. We will post any updates to the Policy on our website. If we make material changes to how we collect, use, and disclose the personal information we have previously collected about you, we will endeavor to provide you prior notice, such as by emailing you or posting prominent notice through on our website or within the Services.

11. Contact Us

If you have questions about this Policy or our privacy practices, you may contact us at contact@pictor.us.

12. Additional Privacy Information for European Economic Area (EEA) and the United Kingdom (UK) Residents

This section details the purposes for processing personal information and the legal bases for which we process personal information in accordance with the EEA and UK General Data Protection Regulation (the “GDPR”).

Lawful Basis for Collecting Personal Information. We collect and process personal information under the following legal bases:

  • To Perform a Contract with You or to Take Pre-contractual Steps at Your Request. This includes performance of an agreement with you, such as our Terms of Use, or terms and conditions applicable to the Services you use. If you don’t provide your personal information, we won’t be able to provide you with the Services requested.
  • To Comply with a Legal Obligation to Which Pictorus is Subject. This includes processing personal information to comply with our legal obligations, such as to retain records of transactions.
  • For Our Legitimate Interests. We may process personal information in furtherance of our legitimate interests, where those interests are not overridden by your rights, freedoms, and interests. Our legitimate interests include improving and personalizing the Services, marketing features or products that may be of interest, and promoting safety and security.
  • With Your Explicit Consent. We may process personal information about you based on your consent, for example (where required by law) to send you marketing communications, surveys, news, and updates. Where our processing of personal information is based on your consent, you may withdraw consent at any time; please see the section below titled, “Your Rights in Respect of Your Personal Information” for information on how to withdraw your consent.

Purposes and Legal Bases of Use and Processing. We use personal information for the purposes set forth below, and for the legal bases described below:

  • Services and Support. To provide and operate our Services, manage your account, communicate with you about your use of the Services, provide troubleshooting and technical support, respond to your inquiries, fulfill your requests, facilitate payment processing, communicate with you about the Services, for similar service and support purposes, and to otherwise run our day-to-day operations. (Legal basis: Performance of our contract with you and your explicit consent.)
  • Analytics and Improvement. To better understand how Pictorus’ users access and use the Services, and for other research and analytical purposes, such as to evaluate and improve the Site, our Services, and business operations, including to develop our Services and its features, and for internal quality control and training purposes. (Legal basis: Our legitimate interests in improving our products and Services to expand our business and increase our revenue.)
  • Communicate With You. To respond to your inquiries, send you requested materials and newsletters, as well as information and materials regarding our Services and offerings. We also use this information to send administrative information to you, for example, information regarding the Services and changes to our terms, conditions, and policies. (Legal basis: Our legitimate interests in improving our products and Services to expand our business and increase our revenue.)
  • Customization and Personalization. To tailor content we send and to otherwise personalize your experiences and offerings. (Legal basis: Our legitimate interests in improving our products and Services to expand our business and increase our revenue.)
  • Marketing and Advertising. For marketing, advertising, and promotional purposes. For example, to send you promotional information about our Services, including information about our events, webinars, presentations, and new offerings, as well as any other information that you sign up to receive. (Legal basis: Our legitimate interests in improving our products and Services to expand our business and increase our revenue.)
  • Research and Surveys. To administer surveys and questionnaires, such as for market research or user satisfaction purposes. (Legal basis: Our legitimate interests in improving the relevancy of our Services, products, and advertising to improve Services and products and to encourage interactions with us, which allows us to grow our business.)
  • Planning and Managing Events. For event planning and other management-related purposes, such as event registration and attendance, connecting you with other event attendees and users, and contacting you about relevant events, presentations, and our Services. (Legal basis: Our legitimate interests in improving the relevancy of our Services, products, and advertising to improve Services and products and to encourage interactions with us, which allows us to grow our business.)
  • Security and Protection of Rights. To protect the Services and our business operations, our rights and those of our stakeholders and investors, to prevent and detect fraud, unauthorized activities and access, and other misuse of our website and Services, including where we believe necessary to investigate, prevent or take action regarding illegal activities, suspected fraud, situations involving potential threats to the safety or legal rights of any person or third party, or violations of our Terms and Conditions of Use. (Legal basis: Our legitimate interests in conducting our business in a lawful manner and protecting our rights and interests as well as those of our stakeholders and society at large.)
  • Compliance and Legal Process. To comply with applicable legal or regulatory obligations, including as part of a judicial proceeding, to respond to a subpoena, warrant, court order, or other legal process, or as part of an investigation or request, whether formal or informal, from law enforcement or a governmental authority. (Legal basis: To comply with an EEA or UK obligations, or in reliance on our legitimate interests in conducting our business in a lawful manner and protecting our rights and interests as well as those of our stakeholders and society at large where we need to comply with non-EEA or UK law.)
  • Auditing, Reporting, and Other Internal Operations. To conduct financial, tax and accounting audits, audits, and assessments of our operations, including our privacy, security, and financial controls, as well as for risk and compliance purposes. We may also use personal information to maintain appropriate business records and enforce our policies and procedures. (Legal basis: Our legitimate interests in running our business efficiently to improve our performance metrics and maintain profitability.)
  • General Business and Operational Support. To assess and implement mergers, acquisitions, reorganizations, bankruptcies, and other business transactions such as financings, and to administer our business, accounting, auditing, compliance, recordkeeping, and legal functions. (Legal basis: Our legitimate interests in organizing our business efficiently.)

Your Rights in Respect of Your Personal Information. The GDPR gives you certain rights regarding your personal information that we hold, with some exceptions:

  • Access. You have the right to obtain information about our processing of your personal information and obtain access to and a copy of your personal information.
  • Rectification. You have the right to update, complete or correct inaccuracies in your personal information.
  • Erasure. You have the right to have your personal information deleted.
  • Portability. You have the right to obtain a machine-readable copy of your personal information or to have us transfer it to another controller of your choice.
  • Restriction. You have the right to restrict the processing of your personal information, meaning that we will not further process your personal information except to store it.
  • Withdrawal of Consent. You have the right to withdraw your consent to our processing of your personal information, without affecting the lawfulness of processing up until withdrawal.
  • Objection. You have the right to object, on grounds relating to your particular situation, to the processing of your personal information.
  • You also have the right to object to the processing of your personal information for direct marketing (including profiling) purposes.

Please note that some of these rights may be limited, such as where we have an overriding interest or legal obligation to continue to process the data. Please contact us by using the information set out above in Section 11. Contact Us to exercise your rights. You can also contact us by using the information set out above in Section 11. Contact Us if you have any inquiries or complaints regarding the processing of your personal information by Pictorus.

If you are not happy with how your rights are handled, you can submit a complaint with the relevant data protection authority of your habitual residence, your place of work, or the place of the alleged infringement/violation of your rights. This link will redirect you to the European Data Protection Board Website with an up-to-date list of all European Union Data Protection Authorities: https://edpb.europa.eu/about-edpb/board/members_en. The UK authority, the ICO, can be reached here: https://ico.org.uk/.

Retention. We will retain personal information for as long as necessary for the purposes described in this Policy, including for the purpose of satisfying any legal, regulatory, tax, accounting, or reporting requirements. We typically retain personal information for a period of time corresponding to a statute of limitation, and so that we can raise or defend a legal claim. We may also retain your personal information for a longer period in the event of a complaint or if we reasonably believe there is a prospect of litigation.

International Data Transfers. By using our Services, you understand that your personal information is transferred to countries outside of the EEA and UK, and notably to the United States, which are not deemed by the European or UK Commission to provide an adequate level of personal information protection. Where necessary, we have implemented measures to protect your personal information.