Arduino Firmata


Firmata is a piece of software that you can upload to your Arduino board that offers standardized protocol for input and output. When you use Firmata, you are able to receive data from, or send data to, the Arduino pins without writing any additional software. The Isadora Arudino Firmata actor takes advantage of this system to provide input and output from those Arduino pins.


First you need to understand how to attach switches, sensors, LEDs, motors and whatever else you desire to the physical input and output pins on your Arduino board. If you do a Google search for Arduino tutorials you’ll find dozens upon dozens of tutorials online (both video and written) that can help you learn more about how to do this. You can also jump directly to the tutorials on the main Arduino site or follow this excellent tutorial created by Bonemap.

Second, you need to have a basic understanding of how the Firmata system works. We found this tutorial on to be a good one. If you have attached devices to your Arduino input and output pins as described above, you can use the Firmata Test App to manually test the hardware connected to your Arduino input and output pins.

Once you’ve accomplished the above, then you can put the Arduino Firmata actor into your patch and double-click it. In the editor dialog that appears, click the “Help” button to learn how to setup the serial port in Isadora and automatically generate a specification that will link the input and output pins on your Arduino.

Once you’ve created a specification, the Arduino Firmata actor will receive data from the Arduino input pins, and send data to the Arduino output pins in a way that’s similar to the Firmata Test App – except that you now have easy access to those pins in Isadora.

KNOWN BUGS (Only for Isadora 3.0.7 or earlier on Windows)

When running Isadora 3.0.7 or earlier on Windows, the “help” button in the dialog seen when you double-click the Arduino Firmata actor does not work. Instead you will need to double-click the file firmata-actor-help.html included in the same folder as the READ ME. We apologize for the inconvenience.

The help button works fine in Isadora 3.0.8 and later.

For Isadora
Actor version(s)
August 13 2022
last updated
July 06 2023
123.37 KB
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    fmpotts13 onOctober 02, 2022 at4:14 said:

    Does this only work with StandardFirmata or can it accomodate FirmataExpress?