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Arduino UNO with Firmata

Now we will prepare the Arduino UNO to receive another kind of code call Firmata and this will allow us to communicate with MAXUINO and Max MSP and Jitter.

Firmata is a generic protocol for communicating with microcontrollers from software on a host computer. It is intended to work with any host computer software package. Right now there is a matching object in a number of languages. It is easy to add objects for other software to use this protocol. Basically, this firmware establishes a protocol for talking to the Arduino from the host software. 1

Figurate one selecting StandardFirmata

Once the Firmata code is in the window hit download arrow again and it will overwrite the Blink code.

Now you have set up the Arduino with Standard Firmata, which will allow the Arduino to function as an I/0 board with MAXUINO and Max MSP and Jitter.

Now you can move onto section 6 of this chapter to look at the interface of Max MSP and Jitter and later to chapter 7 where we will turn on an LED with Max MSP and Jitter. Congratulations.

This "firmata_test" program works with boards running StandardFirmata version 2.2 or higher on standard Baud rate 57600.

If you need to test your hardware, this standalone program can access all pins. It runs from a single file (no installation needed), for quick and easy testing!
Figure 2 Standard Firmata interface
This can be a valuable test program when plugging in a new sensor or device to see if Firmata is properly communicating with the Arduino through Firmata.

For Mac OS-X


For Windows

Once you download you will get a firmata_test.app and after clicking on that you will need to select the proper port.
Figure 3 Selecting the proper port in Firmata

Choose /dev/cu.usbmodem131 or similar number. It takes a few seconds to activate though when it does you will get an image as in Figure 2 above.

Now when you plug sensors into the Arduino board you should start to see values associated with the sensor...though, of course, the need to be properly wired. This little interface is part of your tool set to determine and help you figure out values coming into sensors.