Clinton Montague

Developer, learner of things, functional programming enthusiast, hacker, and all round inquisitor.

Interactive particle system with Ardiuno and Processing

December 1, 2011

Quickly threw this together when I got home from work. Pretty impressive (if you ask me!) considering I’m a novice with both Processing and Arduino.


The LEDs on the Arduino let you read out the light level (read as an 8-bit binary number) so that the more light that the photosensor receives, the higher the number represented on the LEDs will be. It then spits the number down a serial connection which controls the background colour and the starting position of the particles with Processing.

I see lots of weird and wonderful interactive art projects on the horizon… I’ve clearly got loads of Processing to learn to make something awe-inspiring, but I already have interesting ideas for the Arduino part including getting it to update with a Wii controller or based on your proximity to it. Maybe hook up a couple of sensors so that you can wave your arms around to generate the art?

Also, it’ll be fun to find out what kinds of thing can be generated – particles, fractals, trees. Let’s see just how creative I can get with this stuff :D

Arduino code


Processing code



(Ummm, anyone know of a decent programme to draw these with?!)