Is it possible to control an Arduino with a computer?

I'd like to know if it's possible to create a computer program in whatever language - like C, Java or Python - that controls an Arduino.

For example, the program would have a GUI and if you clicked a button, Arduino would light up an LED.
Or you would click another button and Arduino would do something with some servo motors.

Is it possible?
Thanks. :)

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Yes, its easy. You use the serial input, either with the FTDI cable, or via USB.

pedrotome (author)  steveastrouk7 years ago
Thanks a lot. :)
SCORN1533 years ago
Bla Bla Bla...
1. You need to download a program called processing, easier to use the older 1.51
2. You need to be using windows 7

3. You going to look on YouTube for a few months gathering info on how it works. And when nobody helps you, send me and email.
iserver4 years ago

its easy to communicate with Arduino Borad using Dos Command, so that you can transform Dos command to handmade application, i did it and i put my command in exe application, i'm using multimedia builder to make text button and turn on and off LEDs relays ...

test arduino button.jpg
the seaker6 years ago
This should help you out some. and i am working on this same thing so if you want to see my source code and what not, pm me. i have the arduino duemilanove controlling 8 leds from a c# program.
hello the seaker,
i'm interested with your project. but i'm using visual basic 6.0
what source code i'll write in vb6 to control 8 leds in arduino?
please help.
spudule7 years ago
If you were to use flash, there is software available that will convert from the protocol flash uses into serial.
From what I gather, if the program you are using doesn't or can't communicate using 'serial', then there are already plenty of pieces of software for translating it.

belliedroot7 years ago
Check out 'processing' at . It is like the sister programing IDE to Arduino. You can use 'processing' to control the arduino, like a color picker that you click with your mouse or whatever.
ajmontag7 years ago
 Yes, I have worked on a team project in which we used a Java touchscreen GUI to communicate to the Arduino. Java has an RX/TX library for serial communication, but we found this to not work.  We instead used a C# program to pipe data from the GUI out to Serial.  Once you get things over to Serial things on the arduino end are pretty straightforward. 
raykholo7 years ago
Ultimately, the serial monitor is the way to go (ideally.)  However, this is not ideal and attempting to transmit more than one type of command that way will be a troublesome.  The GUI to program control and data return: Labview.  I have done some basic work with it recently.  I heard that theres a way to put it on arduino, so it is possible.  Not much else I know on doing that, just know that it is possible.  Good luck.
Gazaman7 years ago
If you check under Arduino - Firmata, I think you will find pretty much exactly what you are looking for (something that can control Arduino from your PC without writing writing customized Arduino sketches once you include the firmata library).

You can take it a step further and use Zigbee wireless modems between your computer and the Arduino to remote manage / control it...

Check out this link:


mwrenfro7 years ago
Sparkfun recently released a part called the Serio that is more or less what you're looking for out of the box (not sure about the servos). But at its core, it's a microcontroller with a USB port and a loaded program that reads commands off the serial port and reacts accordingly.