Arduino and Raspberry Pi working together

Basically everything we can do with Arduino it can be done also with a Raspberry Pi (an viceversa). There’re things that they’re easy to do with Arduino (connect sensors for example). But another things (such as work with REST servers, databases, …) are “complicated” with Arduino and C++ (they are possible but require a lot of low level operations) and pretty straightforward with Raspberry Pi and Python (at least for me and because of my background)

With this small project I want to use an Arduino board and Raspberry Pi working together. The idea is blink two LEDs. One (green one) will be controlled by Raspberry Pi directly via GPIO and another one (red one) will be controlled by Arduino board. Raspberry Pi will be the “brain” of the project and will tell to Arduino board when turn on/off it’s led. Let’s show you the code.

import RPi.GPIO as gpio
import serial
import time
import sys
import os

def main():
    gpio.setmode(gpio.BOARD)
    gpio.setup(12, gpio.OUT)

    s = serial.Serial('/dev/ttyACM0', 9600)
    status = False

    while 1:
        gpio.output(12, status)
        status = not status
        print status
        s.write("1\n" if status else "0\n")
        time.sleep(1)

if __name__ == '__main__':
    try:
        main()
    except KeyboardInterrupt:
        print 'Interrupted'
        gpio.cleanup()
        try:
            sys.exit(0)
        except SystemExit:
            os._exit(0)

As we can see the script is a simple loop and blink led (using pin 12) with one interval of one second. Our Arduino board is connected directly to the Raspberry Pi via USB cable and we send commands via serial interface.

Finally the Arduino program:

#define LED  11

String serialData = "";
boolean onSerialRead = false; 

void setup() {
  // initialize serial:
  Serial.begin(9600);
  serialData.reserve(200);
}

void procesSerialData() {
  Serial.print("Data " + serialData);
  if (serialData == "1") {    
    Serial.println(" LED ON");
    digitalWrite(LED, HIGH);
  } else {
    Serial.println(" LED OFF");
    digitalWrite(LED, LOW);
  }
  serialData = "";
  onSerialRead = false;
}

void loop() {
  if (onSerialRead) {
    procesSerialData();
  }
}

void serialEvent() {
  while (Serial.available()) {
    char inChar = (char)Serial.read();
    if (inChar == '\n') {
      onSerialRead = true;
    } else {
      serialData += inChar;
    }
  }
}

Here our Arduino Board is listening to serial interface (with serialEvent) and each time we receive “\n” the main loop will turn on/off the led depending on value (1 – On, 0 – Off)

We can use I2C and another ways to connect Arduino and Raspberry Pi but in this example we’re using the simplest way to do it: A USB cable. We only need a A/B USB cable. We don’t need any other extra hardware (such as resistors) and the software part is pretty straightforward also.

Hardware:

  • Arduino UNO
  • Raspberry Pi 3
  • Two LEDs and two resistors

Code in my github account

Playing with arduino, IoT, crossbar and websockets

Yes. Finally I’ve got an arduino board. It’s time to hack a little bit. Today I want to try different things. I want to display in a webpage one value from my arduino board. For example one analog data using a potentiometer. Let’s start.

We are going to use one potentiometer. A potentiometer is a resistor with a rotating contact that forms an adjustable voltage divider. It has three pins. If we connect one pin to 5V power source of our arduino, another one to the ground and another to one A0 (analog input 0), we can read different values depending on the position of potentiometer’s rotating contact.

arduino_analog

Arduino has 10 bit analog resolution. That means 1024 possible values, from 0 to 1023. So when our potentiometer gives us 5 volts we’ll obtain 1024 and when our it gives us 0V we’ll read 0. Here we can see a simple arduino program to read this analog input and send data via serial port:

int mem;

void setup() {
  Serial.begin(9600);
}

void loop() {
  int value = analogRead(A0);
  if (value != mem) {
    Serial.println(value);
  }
  mem = value;

  delay(100);
}

This program is simple loop with a delay of 100 milliseconds that reads A0 and if value is different than previously read (to avoid sending the same value when nobody is touching the potentiometer) we send the value via serial port (with 9600 bauds)

We can test our program using the serial monitor of our arduino IDE our using another serial monitor.

Now we’re going to create one script to read this serial port data. We’re going to use Python. I’ll use my laptop and my serial port is /dev/tty.usbmodem14231

import serial

arduino = serial.Serial('/dev/tty.usbmodem14231', 9600)

while 1:
  print arduino.readline().strip()

Basically we’ve got our backend running. Now we can create a simple frontend.

...
<div id='display'></div>
...

We’ll need websockets. I normally use socket.io but today I’ll use Crossbar.io. Since I hear about it in a Ronny’s talk at deSymfony conference I wanted to use it.

I’ll change a little bit our backend to emit one event

import serial
from os import environ
from twisted.internet.defer import inlineCallbacks
from twisted.internet.task import LoopingCall
from autobahn.twisted.wamp import ApplicationSession, ApplicationRunner

arduino = serial.Serial('/dev/tty.usbmodem14231', 9600)

class SeriaReader(ApplicationSession):
    @inlineCallbacks
    def onJoin(self, details):
        def publish():
            return self.publish(u'iot.serial.reader', arduino.readline().strip())

        yield LoopingCall(publish).start(0.1)

if __name__ == '__main__':
    runner = ApplicationRunner(environ.get("GONZALO_ROUTER", u"ws://127.0.0.1:8080/ws"), u"iot")
    runner.run(SeriaReader)

Now I only need to create a crossbar.io server. I will use node to do it

var autobahn = require('autobahn'),
    connection = new autobahn.Connection({
            url: 'ws://0.0.0.0:8080/ws',
            realm: 'iot'
        }
    );

connection.open();

And now we only need to connect our frontend to the websocket server

$(function () {
    var connection = new autobahn.Connection({
        url: "ws://192.168.1.104:8080/ws",
        realm: "iot"
    });

    connection.onopen = function (session) {
        session.subscribe('iot.serial.reader', function (args) {
            $('#display').html(args[0]);
        });
    };

    connection.open();
});

It works but thre’s a problem. The first time we connect with our browser we won’t see the display value until we change the position of the potentiometer. That’s because ‘iot.serial.reader’ event is only emitted when potentiometer changes. No change means no new value. To solve this problem we only need to change a little bit our crossbar.io server. We’ll “memorize” the last value and we’ll expose one method ‘iot.serial.get’ to ask about this value

var autobahn = require('autobahn'),
    connection = new autobahn.Connection({
            url: 'ws://0.0.0.0:8080/ws',
            realm: 'iot'
        }
    ),
    mem;

connection.onopen = function (session) {
    session.register('iot.serial.get', function () {
        return mem;
    });

    session.subscribe('iot.serial.reader', function (args) {
        mem = args[0];
    });
};

connection.open();

An now in the frontend we ask for ‘iot.serial.get’ when we connect to the socket

$(function () {
    var connection = new autobahn.Connection({
        url: "ws://192.168.1.104:8080/ws",
        realm: "iot"
    });

    connection.onopen = function (session) {
        session.subscribe('iot.serial.reader', function (args) {
            $('#display').html(args[0]);
        }).then(function () {
                session.call('iot.serial.get').then(
                    function (result) {
                        $('#display').htmlresult);
                    }
                );
            }
        );
    };
    connection.open();
});

And thats all. The source code is available in my github account. You also can see a demo of the working prototype here