Chapter 13. Software integration


This chapter covers

  • Using serial ports to communicate with applications
  • Connecting an Arduino board to a Processing application
  • Connecting an Arduino board to a Python application

The Arduino is a potent tool on its own, but it becomes all the more powerful when you connect it to a full-featured computer, like a laptop or a desktop computer. In fact, you do this whenever you connect the Arduino to your computer with a USB cable to upload code from the Arduino IDE to your Arduino board. The reason you take this step when you’re programming the Arduino is to take advantage of the power of your desktop or laptop to compile your code and run the Arduino IDE.

You may be thinking of the other powerful things your desktop computer can do that your Arduino can’t: computer vision, audio synthesis, network communications, and so on. But your computer is unmistakably a computer, and that’s the advantage of the Arduino: it allows you to create a new interface to your computer that doesn’t need to look or feel computer-like.

13.1. The serial channel

13.2. Servos for face tracking

13.3. Using Firmata to create an equalizer

13.4. Using Pure Data to create a synthesizer

13.5. Using Python to monitor temperatures

13.6. Summary