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A command line interface for remote data visualization and communication with embedded devices
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pytelemetry command line interface

This command-line interface (CLI) enables data visualization and communication with embedded platforms.

  • Fast prototyping and debugging. Set everything up in a few minutes and start debugging any embedded device efficiently. Forget about printf. Forever.
  • Communication-based applications. Stop re-writing custom protocols for each new project.
  • Real-time update of embedded application parameters. Tune your application without loosing time compiling & flashing.
  • Data-plotting. Plot data from the device in no time, with a single command. Time-varying values, arrays and sparse arrays.
  • Reusability. Highly flexible protocol, loosely coupled to your application. Suited for a wide number of application scenarios.

Arduino and ARM mbed are currently officially supported.

interface and plot

Aan example of listing serial ports ls -s, connecting to a device through COM20 serial com20 --bauds 115200, listing all received topics ls and opening a plot on topic touch plot touch

Console example

Plot example


The CLI provides a set of commands to connect to a device, read, plot, write data on it, log any received and sent data.

The communication protocol that carry all exchanged information is implemented in Python and C:

  • pytelemetryPyPI version for scripting the communication from your PC
  • telemetry: for enabling communication in the embedded device.

Officially supported embedded platforms are for now Arduino and Mbed.

This CLI runs on Windows, Mac OS and Linux.

See the central documentation for installation tutorials and description of the protocol.


pytelemetrycli requires python 3.3+, PyQt4 and numpy.


It is recommended to download numpy and PyQt4 wheels python packages (courtesy of Christoph Gohlke).

In case you were wondering, no you don't have to install Qt. The binary wheel is enough.

Install with pip the downloaded files

pip install numpy-x.xx.x+vanilla-cp3x-none-winxxx.whl
pip install PyQt4-x.xx.x-cp3x-none-winxxx.whl

Then, simply install pytelemetrycli with pip as usual

pip install pytelemetrycli

Mac OS

The easiest way to install numpy and PyQt4 seem to be using homebrew. lease note that you should also have installed python 3.5 with homebrew for this to work correctly. Also, avoid to have another python 3.5 distribution on your system otherwise you will face import issues as well.

brew install python3
brew install pyqt --with-python3
pip3 install pytelemetrycli


The setup used for testing relies on miniconda.

conda install numpy
conda install pyqt
conda install pip
pip install pytelemetrycli

However, if you have PyQt4 and numpy already installed in your directory, simply run

pip install pytelemetrycli

List of commands

The command line interface can be started like this

python3 -m pytelemetrycli.cli

If everything is installed properly, :> should welcome you.

pytelemetry terminal started. (type help for a list of commands.)
:> _

help [command]

Without arguments, you get a list of all available commands. Otherwise the full command documentation.


Without options, prints a list of all received topics.
With the --serial flag, prints a list of all available COM ports

Usage: ls [options]

-s, --serial     Use this flag to print a list of all available serial ports


Connects pytelemetry to the serial port.

Usage: serial <port> [options]

-b X, --bauds X        Connection speed in bauds  [default: 9600]


Prints X last received samples from <topic>.

Usage: print <topic> [options]

-a X, --amount X        Amount of samples to display [default: 1]


Publishes a (value | string) on <topic>.

Usage: pub (--u8 | --u16 | --u32 | --i8 | --i16 | --i32 | --f32 | --s) <topic> <value>


Plots <topic> in a graph window.

Usage: plot <topic>


Displays different metrics about the active transport (ex : serial port).
This allows you to know if for instance corrupted frames are received, what fraction
of the maximum baudrate is being used, etc.

Usage: stats


Disconnects from any open connection.

Usage: disconnect


Exits the terminal application.

Usage: quit

Future milestones

  • improve and truly centralize documentation
  • export to Excel and CSV and replay command in the CLI for offline inspection.
  • support of Matrices, XYZ, and RGB-type codes.
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