Week 10: Arduino meets Processing


For this exercise, I wanted to play with colors (yes, I like them a lot) and use different sensory input to change the color of different elements in my Processing sketch. Just exploring different color combinations would make me happy already but I also wanted to add a simple goal to this game which is to manipulate the Arduino sensors in such a way that all objects have the same color so merge in one color blob.


I built upon the “05_receiveInArduino” examples that we looked at in class. The potentiometer would be one way of input for color manipulation and I wanted to add the Distance Sensor of our kit for another source of input. For this, I looked up how to use it in the little booklet that came with the kit and also on the Arduino website and used their code. In my Processing sketch, I defined the colors of my elements (two lines of text, ellipse, stroke of ellipse, background) in such a way that they would at some position of the potentiometer all have the same color. Aaron helped me understand the mapping of the distance sensor but I did not yet figure out who to correctly map that input and use it in the Processing sketch for my intention so for now. I will look at this again. The LED was also intended to blink up when the game is solved but for that I would need the distance sensor input so now it is is simply on for 50% of the potentiometer range, and off for the other half. For now, enjoy a very easy to solve version of my game idea 🙂


const int trigPin = 11;           //connects to the trigger pin on the distance sensor
const int echoPin = 12;           //connects to the echo pin on the distance sensor

const int redPin = 3;             //pin to control the red LED inside the RGB LED
const int greenPin = 5;           //pin to control the green LED inside the RGB LED
const int bluePin = 6;            //pin to control the blue LED inside the RGB LED

float sensor2 = 0;               //stores the distance measured by the distance sensor

void setup() {
  // put your setup code here, to run once:

  //code for Distance Sensor taken from Arduino
  pinMode(trigPin, OUTPUT);   //the trigger pin will output pulses of electricity
  pinMode(echoPin, INPUT);    //the echo pin will measure the duration of pulses coming back from the distance sensor

void loop() {
  sensor2 = getDistance();   //variable to store the distance measured by the sensor
  sensor2 = map(sensor2, 0, 800, 0, 255);

    int inByte=Serial.read();
    int sensor = analogRead(A0);
    int sensor2 = analogRead(A1);

//code for Distance Sensor taken from Arduino

float getDistance()
  float echoTime;                   //variable to store the time it takes for a ping to bounce off an object
  float calculatedDistance;         //variable to store the distance calculated from the echo time

  //send out an ultrasonic pulse that's 10ms long
  digitalWrite(trigPin, HIGH);
  digitalWrite(trigPin, LOW);

  echoTime = pulseIn(echoPin, HIGH);      //use the pulsein command to see how long it takes for the
                                          //pulse to bounce back to the sensor

  calculatedDistance = echoTime / 148.0;  //calculate the distance of the object that reflected the pulse (half the bounce time multiplied by the speed of sound)

  return calculatedDistance;              //send back the distance that was calculated

/* Processing Code

import processing.serial.*;
Serial myPort;
int xPos=0;
int yPos=0;
boolean onOff=false;

void setup() {
  size(255, 720);
  String portname=Serial.list()[5]; //add my port here
  myPort = new Serial(this, portname, 9600);

void draw() {
  background(xPos, 0, 255);
  stroke(0, xPos, 255); //eventually: this uses input from sensor2
  fill(255, 0, xPos);
  ellipse(xPos, height/2, 50, 50);
  //instruction text
  text("Align the colors", 5, 30);
  fill(0, xPos, 255);
  text("& make everything disappear", 6, 60);
  fill(0, xPos*2, 255);

  if (xPos >= 126) //eventually: xPos == yPos

void serialEvent(Serial myPort) {
  String s=myPort.readStringUntil('\n');
  if (s!=null) {
    int values[]=int(split(s, ','));
    if (values.length==2) {
      xPos=(int)map(values[0], 0, 1023, 0, width);
      //yPos=(int)map(values[1],0,1023,0, height);
      yPos=(int)map(values[0], 0, 1023, 0, height);



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