Introduction: Guino: Dashboard for Your Arduino

Picture of Guino: Dashboard for Your Arduino
This project is a part of experiments done while doing an artist in residence at Instructables. You can see the other projects here.

It can be a tricky task to debug and visualize realtime data on the Arduino board. You are usually stuck with the standard serial output, as the complexity of your Arduino code grows this makes it impossible to comprehend what is actually going on inside the board. To solve this I have created a little library that will enable you to create your own custom GUI for your Arduino projects. Watch this video to get a demonstration of a basic hello world with a potmeter and a diode:

As of now, the program has the following possibilities and features:

Custom design your interface from the Arduino board
You define which sliders, graphs and buttons you need for your interface. You do this in your Arduino sketch which means that the gui program acts as a slave to the sketch. All information is stored in your board.

Visualize and manipulate realtime data 
Whether you are making an RGB light controller or a robot arm, getting a graphical feedback is crucial to understand what is going on inside the board. This enables you to understand whether it is your hardware or the code that is causing problem. Further the sliders and buttons enables you to tweak the individual parameters in realtime. This way you can see what effect different thresholds have on the interaction.

Save the parameters in the boards memory
When you have tweaked the parameters you can save them to the EEProm of the board. The parameters will be auto loaded next time you power on the board, even if the computer is not connected.

Use the same app for all your Arduino projects
I have made tons of small apps for different projects. My problem is always to find them again a year later. Because we save everything in the Arduino I only need to keep one app around the Arduino will automatically configure the app for the current project.

Prototype the interface before you turn on the soldering iron
Because you can design the gui as you like it (within reasonable limits), you can prototype the interface before you have made a physical interface. This also enables you to divide the tasks between multiple people e.g. one person is working on the hardware and another person is working on the code. When you have made the physical interface the Guino will integrate seamlessly. 

Use it as a fullscreen dashboard
You can use it as a fullscreen dashboard by pressing F and pressing T toggles the visibility of the settings panel. You hereby only present your custom interface for the world around you.

Control the background color
The background color can be controlled from the Arduino this enables you to create different colors for different sketches. It can also bes used to make alerts when something is wrong. It can be green when everything is ok and red when something is wrong.

Fast and Slim
I have taken great care in making the footprint on the Arduino as small as possible - It only stores a minimum amount of data in the memory (concretely a pointer list of 100 items). This setting can be changed to lower or higher depending on the amount of gui items you intend to have in your interface. Further the system relies on the EasyTransfer library which transfers the information in binary form. Each package consists of a byte for command, a byte for item # and an integer for the value. Ideally, all your data should be normalized to a 16 bit signed integer range. This means optimal usage of the serial port when working with integers (technically we use a little extra space for a checksum). 

Good for Instructables
The GUI enables you to make Instructables that only requires the core components. Extra components like potmeters etc. can be made virtually via the gui.

Limitations and future plans
Right now the app has been compiled to the Mac OSX and Windows platform. It is written in Openframeworks so It should be able to run on other platforms  as well. Since the app is using the serial port you will not be able to connect other programs to the Arduino. This will be solved in a future release which will include a Open Sound Control and a Midi bridge.

Programming and idea by: Mads Hobye
Easytransfer library by: Bill Porter
GUI library by:  Reza Ali


Step 1: Getting Started

Picture of Getting Started
  • Download and unzip the GUINO package.
  • Download Arduino
  • Copy the libraries folder to your Arduino libraries folder (how to here)
  • Restart Arduino.
  • Open one of the examples within Arduino. (Menu: Files -> Examples -> Guino -> pick one)
  • If you use the simple example then make a circuit as illustrated above.
  • Upload the example.
  • Run the Guino app.
  • Choose the serial port (Usually the last one)
  • Press connect.

Source can be found here.

IMPORTANT: When using it on the Windows platform you have to use a com port which lower or equal to 10. If you use a port that is 10 or above the system will not work. This is a bug in openframeworks.

Step 2: How to Modify the Code

Picture of How to Modify the Code

For the library to work with your sketch, you need a couple of extra methods. I have described them below:

gInit() this is where you define your layout
This method defines the layout by adding components sequentially. Components that can be changed (slider, buttons etc.) have a variable attached to it. The & in front of the variable means that we do not want to pass the value in the variable, but we want to pass a reference (pointer) to the variable. This way the Guino system automatically updates them when changes happens in the GUI.

void gInit()
   gAddSlider(0,255,"LED BRIGHTNESS",&ledLight);
  // The rotary sliders
  gAddLabel("ROTARY SLIDERS",1);
  // Add more stuff here.
   gSetColor(r,g,b); // Set the color of the gui interface.

GButtonPressed(int id) this is called whenever a button has been pressed
Generally variables can be updated automatically, but in the case of a button it needs to be an event you take care of. In this example we set the height variable to 100 when somebody presses the button.

void gButtonPressed(int id)
  if(buttonId == id)
    height= 100;

gItemUpdated(int id) This is called whenever and item has been updated
It is usually not necessary to use this since the system will update the variables automatically. If you want to react to a change you can use it as such. In this case we are updating the background color whenever one of the 3 rotary sliders has been changed.

void gItemUpdated(int id)
  if(rotaryRID = id || rotaryGID == id || rotaryBID == id)

Step 3: A Few Quick Tips

Remember to disconnect when uploading a new sketch
You cannot have the Guino running while uploading a new sketch to the Arduino board, because they use the same serial connection. This requires you to disconnect every time you upload a new sketch. If you (and you will) try to upload while having the Guino connected, the board can go into some strange state where it is kind of running, but not quite. At this point your only option is to reset the board by pressing the reset button or by disconnecting and reconnecting the usb cable.

Known bugs
As of now the system is working and stable. The following are bugs one should be aware of:
  • setMin does not work on a movingGraph (there seems to be a bug in GUI library that needs to be fixed). So minimum stays on zero.
  • The serial list is loaded when starting the program. The Arduino has to be plugged in before starting the program. Refreshing the serial list while running cause a bad event. It has yet to be solved.
  • Fiddling with the serial list - sometimes makes the program crash (same gui event as refresh - have to find the source)
  • Toggle buttons background becomes black depending on initialization. I need to set the background manually.
  • On some windows platforms the com port does not show up. Might be a ftdi driver issue.

Step 4: Use Cases

Picture of Use Cases

If you want to see some use cases with the Guino interface go to this Instructable.


darkmoon3d (author)2015-12-23

Sorry for beginner questions but I'm newbie to Arduino. Looking for gui for arduino for displaying sensor data including gps position overlay with satelite images. Would Guino be best solution for this? hope to incorporate images as well with standard gui such as text, sliders, graphs, and buttons.

darkmoon3d (author)darkmoon3d2015-12-23

Forgot to mention but gui would be running from lcd screen and not from pc. Example of what trying to do includes mp3 player which would include album art image with slider, play controls. and time remaining/elapsed.

Vince_33 (author)2015-12-20

the guino.h and guino.cpp files are missing from the guino folder. Both are available on github - if you create the files and add them to the folder that you place in the library, it will work...

Slobodan123 (author)2013-04-16

Hello Mads, I have one question about graphs. Is it possible actually to have more than one value per graph? I would like to have 4 temperature values one one graph. Thanks for help.

JohnW191 (author)Slobodan1232015-11-17

I would love this too!

kced (author)2013-07-27

First off, GUINO is wonderful. Thanks for putting this out there!

I'm having a problem getting it to work. The example sketch works fine on my Arduino Uno (ATMEGA328) and Arduino Nano (ATMEGA328p) but not with an Arduino Micro (ATMEGA32u4). The error is related to EasyTransfer:

error: no matching function for call to 'EasyTransfer::begin(byte*, unsigned int, Serial_*)

Then it gives me a "candidate" in EasyTransfer.h

Do you know what this error means?

JohnW191 (author)kced2015-11-17

I am having this same issue!

JohnW191 (author)2015-11-17

I am using your GUINO and love it! But I want to do a few more things with the graph that aren't currently supported and I am struggling to understand your code. I want to be able to display the scale on the graph as well as show the current value of the live graph.

I also would like to enter exact values rather than just sliders. Idk if these are possible by just rearranging the code is some ways just let me know!

MuhammadI58 (author)2015-10-15

Very very very helpful GUI, thanks guys, love it, BUT, i have the same problem with GabrielS33 (below), it cannot visualize float/double type data, how can we solve it? I also try to use updatable "gAddLabel", no error, but the GUI only showing a static "?" symbol. Is there any solution?

GabrielS33 (author)2015-08-11

hi madshobye this application (guino) its wonderful, i make project about analog voltage but guino value type data is integer, can guino convert voltage int to float?, thank you madshobye

this my code

int sensorValue;

float voltage;

float input2volts = 5.0/1023.0;

void setup(){


pinMode(13, OUTPUT);


// Start the guino dashboard interface.

// The number is your personal key for saving data. This should be unique for each sketch

// This key should also be changed if you change the gui structure. Hence the saved data vill not match.



void loop(){

// **** Main update call for the guino


sensorValue = analogRead(0);

voltage = round(sensorValue *(5.0 / 1023.0));




void gInit()




// Last parameter in moving graph defines the size 10 = normal

gAddMovingGraph("VOLTAGE 0-5V ",0,5,&voltage, 10);



this is the error compile in arduino

BasicPotmeterAndLcd2.ino:168:34: error: cannot convert 'float*' to 'int*' for argument '4' to 'int gAddSlider(int, int, char*, int*)'

BasicPotmeterAndLcd2.ino: In function 'void loop()':

BasicPotmeterAndLcd2.ino:269:24: error: invalid conversion from 'float*' to 'int' [-fpermissive]

BasicPotmeterAndLcd2.ino:46:6: error: initializing argument 1 of 'void gUpdateValue(int)' [-fpermissive]

Error compiling.

jean.l.bergier (author)2015-01-12

Hi and thank you so much for this amazing application. One question : how can I send a specific value to arduino from GUI (sliders and rotary sliders don't allow to send sharp values, for exemple, if I want to send 100.00, it's too difficult with sliders, I can olny send 100.02 or 99.95...Possible to add a button with a textbox in witch we can put the desired value (in my cas 100.00) ? Thanks a lot !!

Slobodan123 (author)2013-05-16

Hi all!! Here's an update of the Arduino Data Acquisition System (A.D.A.S.). You can see GUIno in action. I use it on touchscreen and I would like to be able add smaller colomns and to make some sort of numeric keyboard on screen. Is it possible to have smaller colomns? Once finiched I think I will do an Instructable, with the PCD for RJ45 where all sensors are connected, like on the picture, and I will publish also the arduino code...

Hi Slobodan123! i am really interested in getting to know further about your project! is it running on a computer system? or did you attach a GLCD and were able to run this? i am looking to create a touchscreen dashboard for a car and am completely lost as to how to go about it. any suggestions would be really helpful!

Sorry for this late responce. I'we been working on other projects in last time and now i wanted to go back to Arduino and Guino and now I cannot make it work! Guino just crash at startup. I run Windows 7 32 bits freshly installed. Maybe it need some VB packages? can someone help me, please?

RCH6 (author)Slobodan1232014-08-13

Hi... I am using Guino dashboard for blinking an Led at about every half of millisecond, and I am plotting the graph according as the led turns on and off. The problem is the width of graph is tooo small to recognize the signal. How can we increase or manipulate the axis???

furioncycle (author)2014-03-12

This is awesome and thank you for it!! I have a question though when I compile your example code to check if everything is set up right. It compiles and uploads but once I open GUINO and try to select a com port (mine shows only com10 no matter what USB port I connect to). The terminal window says Selected: COM10

OF: OF_LOG_ERROR: ofSerial: unable to open port.

I don't really know what to do to fix this.

madshobye (author)furioncycle2014-09-21

Use a comport lower than 10 on windows. You can change this is your device settings.

waynehutchison (author)2014-04-21

Thank you for this wonderful app!

I'm having this error at compile time:

Guino_libray.ino: In function 'void gBegin(int)':
Guino_libray:172: error: no matching function for call to 'EasyTransfer::begin(byte*, unsigned int, usb_serial_class*)'

Is there a fix for this compile error?

madshobye (author)waynehutchison2014-09-21

Include the guino file. Look at the examples.

Mac_A (author)2014-06-04

Are there any plans in the works to get this working with Reza Ali's most recent commit of ofxUI? Or with more recent versions of openframeworks?

madshobye (author)Mac_A2014-09-21

Not at the moment - Working on other iterations. I had to tweak the gui significantly to make it work hence and opgrading process is more than a simple task.

baedert (author)2014-06-10

Does it have any system requirements? I tried running it on Windows7 (64bit) and it just instantly crashed. Linux + wine works but no serial port shows up (yes, also with the symbolic links in ~/.wine/dosdevices). So, are there any known limitations?

madshobye (author)baedert2014-09-21

It have had it working on recent Windows systems and recent Mac systems. I do not run windows myself so I am not able to test it.

RCH6 (author)2014-08-13

Hi... I am using Guino dashboard for blinking an Led at about every half of millisecond, and I am plotting the graph according as the led turns on and off. The problem is the width of graph is tooo small to recognize the signal. How can we increase or manipulate the axis??? @Madshobye

madshobye (author)RCH62014-09-21

Update the graph value more rarely.

Scargill (author)2014-08-27

Tried this on Windows 8 64 bit... bombed at the DOS box. Something about do not use this constructor - then died.

andrew.baldwin.355 (author)2014-08-10

Hi, I love the program! Exactly what ive been looking for!

Although maybe someone could help me with an issue im having trouble solving. I have a set of functions in my sketch. And buttons in the GUI that calls those functions when pressed. But I would like to have those functions loop until I press another button to change the function. Ive tried putting while loops in the 'gPressedbutton' function but that hasnt worked. Tured using a value update method to kick it out of the loop when I press another button. It just keep looping. And cant change it. Any idea of how to do what im trying to do?


saket.krishnan.9 (author)2014-08-04

Hi! i was looking to implement a touch screen dashboard for a car. the entire car will have a LCD display with the Guino interface modified for acceleration, battery stats etc. basically the dashboard with a touch screen functionality to enhance the data acquisition better. Can someone please help me with this idea. any helpful links or suggestions will be really appreciated!

madshobye (author)2014-05-23

I found a bug on windows. It looks like the Com port number should be lower than 10? I have no idea why - I will look into it at some point, but for now you need to change the com port number.

JimmyD13 (author)2014-04-14

Hi All,

Just wondered if anyone could help me. I'm working with the Guino dashboard and using it to control a two phase measurement system. The problem I'm having is I'm processing input very quickly and need to store them in an array for later calculations. But if I initialise any kind of array in the arduino code. The gInit appears not to run :S and I'm really confused.


Freeto (author)2014-04-08

Absolutely love GUINO! Its like LabView for Arduinos but it doesn't look terrible!

That said, any plans to make it Retina-compatible for OSX?

fireproof666 (author)2014-04-02

How can I download this?

nitro-ale (author)2013-12-17

I think guino it's a really nice and powerfull project, but I can't understand how to manage the installation on my pc.
Basically I've downloaded the on github and installed the library. Next step is to upload the sketch on the arduino, and this is a piece of cake.
But I can't figure how to run the Guino dashboard. Help is really appreciate :)

Hoperin (author)nitro-ale2014-03-08

You may have already figured it out but I want this to be up here because I was blundering around with this same question for about 20 minutes (doh!) -- in the there are /win and /mac folders (in the same directory you found the /copy folder), extract the system you need and you should find a guino.exe inside!

Very simple but easy to overlook when you're already swamped with so much new info (this is my first real Arduino proj at all and so when i found the .exe and opened it and actual had it working I made a bunch of embarassing pteradactyl noises of excitement.)

farmersride (author)2013-05-09

Is it possible to make a version of this distribution that runs over bluetooth COM port? I have been trying to change the code in disneyTouchGuino to use SoftEasyTransfer (instead of EasyTransfer) so it can send data into a bluetooth serial object but have not been successful. Having wireless for this interface would be highly desirable.

purirohan (author)farmersride2013-12-22

Hi farmersride,

Did you ever figure this out? I'm trying to do the same thing as you -- isolate the ground via a bluetooth connection...

Would love any advice/findings you had...

mushroom glue (author)2013-12-08

Is it possible to remove objects while the programme is running? I'd like to be able to hide cirtain controls when not needed. I've figured out how to add them, but I can't remove them without resetting the arduino.

madshobye (author)mushroom glue2013-12-10

This is not possible at the moment. It would require a fundamental change in the logic of the protocol. It uses a sequential id and the id list would eventually run out. Plus it would not have a way to place them in the proper order. What could be done, would be to add a possibility to hide controls. This way the system would be able to generate all the controls in the beginning and then hide the ones that should not be presented in any given moment. This would require a some programming work on both sides but could quite quickly.

creativemen (author)2013-12-09

i need a help
i have this error
'EEPROM' was not declared in this scope

BasicPotmeterAndLed.cpp: In function 'void EEPROMWriteInt(int, int)':
Guino_libray:49: error: 'EEPROM' was not declared in this scope
BasicPotmeterAndLed.cpp: In function 'unsigned int EEPROMReadInt(int)':
Guino_libray:56: error: 'EEPROM' was not declared in this scope

what i need??

mkocabas (author)2013-12-03

Appreciate you Mads... Great work... I'm planning to reveal a dashboard like your... But I will write it in Processing.. Can you share your thoughts on Processing? Is it logical or not?

madshobye (author)mkocabas2013-12-03

Processing would enable other people to hack your gui. So it would be a good idea. You should use mycommunication protocol. This way the arduino code would be compatible.

mkocabas (author)madshobye2013-12-03

Thanks for reply. Also for further development, studying on inter-Arduino communication protocol would be a precious idea.. Good luck:)

mgülsuna (author)2013-11-20

Hi Madshobye, ı wantto say that great job, and ı am wondering how to code the guino for ds 1307 clock can you post an example pls.

Guy Smith (author)2013-03-22

Hi Slobodan..

Here is what I did...

made 2 labels
timeLabel1 = gAddLabel("TIME: ",1);
dateLabel1 = gAddLabel("DATE: ",1);

and in the code somewhere made a function to call each second. You can use ds1307 and 1hz interrupt of just check if seconds and different.

// used to trigger something every second
int currSec = second();
if(currSec != prevSec)
// Clock ticked over another second
// Update the display
prevSec = currSec;

void PrintTime() {

String stringOne = "TIME: ";
if(minute()<=9) stringOne.concat("0");
if(second()<=9) stringOne.concat("0");
stringOne.toCharArray(charBuftime, sizeof(charBuftime));

String stringTwo = " ";
stringTwo.concat(", ");
stringTwo.concat(" ");
stringTwo.concat(", ");
stringTwo.toCharArray(charBufdate, sizeof(charBufdate));

gUpdateLabel(timeLabel1, charBuftime);
gUpdateLabel(dateLabel1, charBufdate);
// the following has nothing to do with time just blinks a LED each second
// if the LED is off turn it on and vice-versa:
if (ledState == LOW){
ledState = HIGH;
ledLight = 1;
else {
ledState = LOW;
ledLight = 0;
// set the LED with the ledState of the variable:
digitalWrite(ledPin, ledState);
digitalWrite(13, ledState);


works great... but had to put time and date on two lines since the font is not like courier but variable width and I did not like the seconds bouncing all around since a '1' is not as wide as a '8'.

I used an array to print out the date like: Monday, March 8, 2013.
If you need that part let me know.

Not sure what you mean by data logging. If you can explain that part better I will look at it. Mental block here I guess.

Also did get it to work with Mega BUT had to use Serial 3 port. That way I can upload and use GUI at same time. But my program is bigger than yours probably. Had to raise 100 item limit to 150. I had too many items to display. I guess each label or graph is an item. Mine is 5 columns wide as I am using it for automation control display.
Let me know...guy

Slobodan123 (author)Guy Smith2013-04-16

Hi Guy, I want to log all data with timestamp, that i receive on my Arduino Mega 2560 from different temperature sensors in one file at same time as Guino is active. I dont know how to do it.... Do you have any suggestion?

Guy Smith (author)Slobodan1232013-04-16

Hi Slodoban...

Yes .. See my image of what I have done.

If you can not see clearly send me an email at regular email and I will send you a bigger image. Also some code. You should be able to get my email name in my personal data info. If not let me know and I will send one here for you to use.
I have made several labels and update the temps every minute and also have labels where I update events that happen with time/date stamp when they happened.
Basically you use a gLabel and then control what you want done to it in the code by calling a function with the name you set up for the label. I also am using a 2560 since my code for Guino is now at 80K.

mgülsuna (author)Guy Smith2013-11-19

Great example for many things ı have 2 questions the first is can you log the data and can you post your code for understanding the guino

gbevis (author)2013-08-10

Is there a way to have the app on my mac pipe some of the data to a log file? That would be the icing on the cake!

madshobye (author)gbevis2013-08-19

Not in the current version, but an obvious next step. Connecting to: vould be nice.

purirohan (author)2013-08-19

When I run GUINO on my Mac (2012 macbook air) it hogs between 30-50% of the CPU and causes the machine to heat up (and thus the fans to start blowing). The only other time this happens for me is when I'm running Flash through the browser. Any idea what's going on here?

About This Instructable




Bio: IMPORTANT: Please do not message me personally with technical questions. Use the comments in the respective Instructables. I really love sharing and helping people makes ... More »
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