Python Meets the Arduino

Audience level:
Embedded Systems
March 10th 10:25 a.m. – 11:05 a.m.


Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. Python is our favorate programming language that allows you to integrate systems more effectively. Learn how to use Python to communicate with an Arduino and interact with sensors, solenoids and motors.


This talk with introduce the Arduino microcontroller and show how to interact with it using Python. With a serial line command protocol, Python code can easily turn on digital I/O pins to turn on LEDs, change the pulse width modulation (PWM) to alter brightness or move a stepper motor. Examples will be shown of a small robot that has a pair of 2 axis gimbles that serve as eyes and of controlling fire effect sequencing.


  • Introduction
  • Overview of the Arduino
  • Open Source Hardware and Software
  • Hardware
    • Microcontroller
    • I/O pins
    • Serial port(s)
    • USB port
  • Software
    • IDE
    • Code in C
    • Extensive library
  • Python controlling an Arduino
  • USB based serial port
  • Serial protocols
    • Home grown
    • Modbus
    • Firmata
    • Errors will happen
  • Examples
  • Exuro - robot with a pair of 2 axis gimbles
  • Fire Effects - Solenoid sequence controls
  • Questions and Comments