There have been some efforts to use linear CCDs with arduinos, which is very cool and bypasses a lot of the mysterious image processing cameras do: https://publiclab.org/notes/shubham/02-01-2016/tiny-spectromter-hacking-a-laser-barcode-scanner
Also there have been several builds around a raspberry pi camera, which is a great camera with low noise and is pretty affordable too:
thanks for the answer Warren, I have one more question. I was going through the Spectral Workbench website. I noticed that you can extract cvs file of the plots. now I am thinking of letting Spectral Workbench do the image processing and then take the cvs file and feed it to my arduino for the comparison/data analysis. I was wondering if you have any experience with this? or do you know anybody who has attempted to establish a communication between online Spectral Workbench and arduino (so that Spectral Workbench spits out the cvs data automatically to the arduino)?
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Hi, I think it's not common because many people find it easier to parse data from a full desktop computer. You might try using a Raspberry Pi which has much of the functionality of a desktop, but I think my own preference would be that if it's already running on a webpage or a full-sized computer, there's not a lot of advantage to transferring it back to an Arduino which is relatively less powerful and harder to work with. But that's just me. As to a solution, you could try sending the data over the serial connection to the Arduino, but that's a bit outside my area of expertise: https://www.arduino.cc/en/Reference/Serial