Control Arduino Using Joystick

Introduction: Control Arduino Using Joystick

About: vigilant ad low volantes scaphas

after about a month of have my arduino I got bored so I was surfing the web and found this cool way of controlling arduino

if you do any thing illegal i am not held responsable

Step 1: Things Needed

1.arduino (duh)
2. computer (if u are reading this you have one unless it is not yours _)
3.usb ports(most computers have these)
4.time(took me 5 hours to figure it out & to cofigure to my servo)

Step 2: Software You Need

arduino programer
pyserial(plug in for python)
pygame(plug in for python)
joystick drivers

Step 3: Programs

i have added the programs you need


  • JoystickSerialServo
  • --------------
  • Servo control with a PC and Joystick

/** Adjust these values for your servo and setup, if necessary **/
int servoPin = 3; // control pin for servo motor
int minPulse = 600; // minimum servo position (to find use google)
int maxPulse = 2400; // maximum servo position (to find use google)
int refreshTime = 20; // time (ms) between pulses (50Hz)

/** The Arduino will calculate these values for you **/
int centerServo; // center servo position
int pulseWidth; // servo pulse width
int servoPosition; // commanded servo position, 0-180 degrees
int pulseRange; // max pulse - min pulse
long lastPulse = 0; // recorded time (ms) of the last pulse

void setup() {
pinMode(servoPin, OUTPUT); // Set servo pin as an output pin
pulseRange = maxPulse - minPulse;
centerServo = maxPulse - ((pulseRange)/2);
pulseWidth = centerServo; // Give the servo a starting point (or it floats)

void loop() {
// wait for serial input
if (Serial.available() > 0) {
// read the incoming byte:
servoPosition =;

// compute pulseWidth from servoPosition
pulseWidth = minPulse + (servoPosition * (pulseRange/180));

// stop servo pulse at min and max
if (pulseWidth > maxPulse) { pulseWidth = maxPulse; }
if (pulseWidth < minPulse) { pulseWidth = minPulse; }

// debug

// pulse the servo every 20 ms (refreshTime) with current pulseWidth
// this will hold the servo's position if unchanged, or move it if changed
if (millis() - lastPulse >= refreshTime) {
digitalWrite(servoPin, HIGH); // start the pulse
delayMicroseconds(pulseWidth); // pulse width
digitalWrite(servoPin, LOW); // stop the pulse
lastPulse = millis(); // save the time of the last pulse


#!/usr/bin/env python
# created 19 December 2007
# copyleft 2007 Brian D. Wendt
# code adapted from:
# NOTE: This script requires the following Python modules:
# pyserial -
# pygame -
# Win32 users may also need:
# pywin32 -

import serial
import pygame

# allow multiple joysticks
joy = []

# Arduino USB port address (try "COM5" on Win32)
usbport = "COM8"

# define usb serial connection to Arduino
ser = serial.Serial(usbport, 9600)

# handle joystick event
def handleJoyEvent(e):
if e.type == pygame.JOYAXISMOTION:
axis = "unknown"
if (e.dict['axis'] == 1):
axis = "X"

if (e.dict['axis'] == 0):
axis = "Y"

if (e.dict['axis'] == 2):
axis = "Throttle"

if (e.dict['axis'] == 3):
axis = "Z"

if (axis != "unknown"):
str = "Axis: %s; Value: %f" % (axis, e.dict['value'])
# uncomment to debug
#output(str, e.dict['joy'])

# Arduino joystick-servo hack
if (axis == "X"):
pos = e.dict['value']
# convert joystick position to servo increment, 0-180
move = round(pos * 90, 0)
if (move < 0):
servo = int(90 - abs(move))
servo = int(move + 90)
# convert position to ASCII character
servoPosition = chr(servo)
# and send to Arduino over serial connection
# uncomment to debug
#print servo, servoPosition

elif e.type == pygame.JOYBUTTONDOWN:
str = "Button: %d" % (e.dict['button'])
# uncomment to debug
#output(str, e.dict['joy'])
# Button 0 (trigger) to quit
if (e.dict['button'] == 0):
print "Bye!\n"

# print the joystick position
def output(line, stick):
print "Joystick: %d; %s" % (stick, line)

# wait for joystick input
def joystickControl():
while True:
e = pygame.event.wait()
if (e.type == pygame.JOYAXISMOTION or e.type == pygame.JOYBUTTONDOWN):

# main method
def main():
# initialize pygame
if not pygame.joystick.get_count():
print "\nPlease connect a joystick and run again.\n"
print "\n%d joystick(s) detected." % pygame.joystick.get_count()
for i in range(pygame.joystick.get_count()):
myjoy = pygame.joystick.Joystick(i)
print "Joystick %d: " % (i) + joy[i].get_name()
print "Depress trigger (button 0) to quit.\n"

# run joystick listener loop

# allow use as a module or standalone script
if name == "main":

Step 4: Test It _

i did not write the python script
i found it on

HAVE fun

4 servo version

Step 5: Video

this is not my video its the video from the website

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    This would be a simple edit, but you might want to add a joystick as another "duh" thing you need.


    10 years ago on Step 2

    how do u upload the programs to the arduino if your using python?


    11 years ago on Step 2

    nice background


    12 years ago on Introduction

    That's funny, I just finished up a project almost exactly like this. I attached a joystick to an Arduino to a Servo motor! The only difference is that I dirrectly connected to the potentiometers in the joystick, I didn't use any programs or serial communication. Yours is great! I should post an 'ible for mine.


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    Hi there!

    Hey please post an instructable for that!!! That would be interesting. And to the author, very cool instructable.


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    Yea, that was a while ago... It's reeeaaallly simple, though. The potentiometers were very easy to access  once you got the plastic case off. Then I just used a couple analogRead's and the Servo library.


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    Its like if you show someone to use a computer, and then they download warez, And then they sue you when the RIAA hits them, And then you say i am not held Liable blah blah blah...Nevermind >_<