I have a question about using the Arduino and Processing. I want to build a touch sensor using aluminum foil and connect it to an interface built in Processing. However i've come across a problem. I don't know how to send the serial data from the Arduino to Processing. This is the code I'm using to get the sensor value from the aluminum foil:

#include <CapacitiveSensor.h>

CapacitiveSensor   cs_4_2 = CapacitiveSensor(4,2);   

void setup(){

void loop(){
  long start = millis();
  long total1 =  cs_4_2.capacitiveSensor(30);

  Serial.print(millis() - start);        



The foil is connected to dig pin 4 with a resistor of 1M in between and to dig pin 2 with a resistor of 1K. Pin 4 is the send pin, pin 2 is the receive pin. It all works just fine, in the serial monitor in the Arduino software I get the value of the time between refreshes and the sensor value. But how do I use this sensor value in a Processing sketch? I thought of maybe using Firmata on the Arduino, but then I wouldn't know how to use the CapacitiveSensor library and get the sensor values. Does anyone know how to get this to work? Help would be greatly appreciated!

3 Answers 3


Try to use this code:

// Graphing sketch

import processing.serial.*;

Serial myPort;        // The serial port
int xPos = 1;         // horizontal position of the graph

void setup () {
// set the window size:
size(400, 300);        

// List all the available serial ports
// I know that the first port in the serial list on my mac
// is always my  Arduino, so I open Serial.list()[0].
// Open whatever port is the one you're using.
myPort = new Serial(this, Serial.list()[0], 9600);
// don't generate a serialEvent() unless you get a newline character:
// set inital background:
void draw () {
// everything happens in the serialEvent()

void serialEvent (Serial myPort) {
// get the ASCII string:
String inString = myPort.readStringUntil('\n');

if (inString != null) {
// trim off any whitespace:
inString = trim(inString);
// convert to an int and map to the screen height:
float inByte = float(inString);
inByte = map(inByte, 0, 1023, 0, height);

// draw the line:
line(xPos, height, xPos, height - inByte);

// at the edge of the screen, go back to the beginning: 
if (xPos >= width) {
xPos = 0;
else {
// increment the horizontal position:

Also look at: http://www.arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/Graph


SparkFun has a tutorial where they explain in great detail how to create a project where your Arduino communicates with Processing on your PC.


You're already half way there - you're sending the data from the Arduino. All you need to do now is read up on how to use Serial in Processing (hint: Arduino is based on Processing, so you should already know most of it) in order to read what you're sending.

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