Paul Baumgarten

Computer Scientist, teacher, freelance programmer and self confessed geek


The Arduino board is a popular way of controlling with hardware for simple robotics projects or other home made devices/machines. Usually Arduino tutorials would have you use a version of the C++ language, however it is entirely possible to use a Python based approach. Using Python to control an Arduino usually necessiatates the Arduino remaining connected to a PC via the USB cable as the Python program will run on the PC and control the Arduino via USB instead of being loaded onto the Arduino directly. To facilitate this a C++ program is loaded onto the Arduino to interpret the USB commands and executes them on the Arduino.

The following tutorial uses the Firmata module to provide this facility on the Arduino.

pip install pyfirmata

A simple Python program to create a blinking LED on pin 13 would then look like

import pyfirmata
import time

board = pyfirmata.Arduino('/dev/ttyACM0')

while True:[13].write(1)

The full tutorial can be found at