Arduino API

The Arduino provides a total of 18 pins for either digital input or output (labelled 2 to 13 and A0 to A5), including 6 for analogue input (labelled A0 to A5).

Accessing the Arduino

The Arduino can be accessed using the arduino property of the Robot object.

my_arduino = r.arduino

You can use the GPIO (General Purpose Input/Output) pins for anything, from microswitches to LEDs. GPIO is only available on pins 2 to 13 and A0 to A5 because pins 0 and 1 are reserved for communication with the rest of our kit.

Pin mode

GPIO pins have four different modes. A pin can only have one mode at a time, and some pins aren’t compatible with certain modes. These pin modes are represented by an enum which needs to be imported before they can be used.

from sbot import GPIOPinMode


The input modes closely resemble those of an Arduino. More information on them can be found in their docs.

Setting the pin mode

You will need to ensure that the pin is in the correct pin mode before performing an action with that pin. You can read about the possible pin modes below.

r.arduino.pins[3].mode = GPIOPinMode.DIGITAL_INPUT_PULLUP


In this mode, the digital state of the pin (whether it is high or low) can be read.

r.arduino.pins[4].mode = GPIOPinMode.DIGITAL_INPUT

pin_value = r.arduino.pins[4].digital_state


Same as GPIOPinMode.DIGITAL_INPUT, but with an internal pull-up resistor enabled.

r.arduino.pins[4].mode = GPIOPinMode.DIGITAL_INPUT_PULLUP

pin_value = r.arduino.pins[4].digital_state


In this mode, we can set binary values of 0V or 5V to the pin.

r.arduino.pins[4].mode = GPIOPinMode.DIGITAL_OUTPUT
r.arduino.pins[6].mode = GPIOPinMode.DIGITAL_OUTPUT

r.arduino.pins[4].digital_state = True
r.arduino.pins[6].digital_state = False


Certain sensors output analogue signals rather than digital ones, and so have to be read differently. The arduino has six analogue inputs, which are labelled A0 to A5; however pins A4 and A5 are reserved and cannot be used.


Analogue signals can have any voltage, while digital signals can only take on one of two voltages. You can read more about digital vs analogue signals here.

from sbot import AnaloguePin

r.arduino.pins[AnaloguePin.A0].mode = GPIOPinMode.ANALOGUE_INPUT

pin_value = r.arduino.pins[AnaloguePin.A0].analogue_value


The values are the voltages read on the pins, between 0 and 5.


Pins A4 and A5 are reserved and cannot be used.

Ultrasound Sensors

You can also measure distance using an ultrasound sensor from the arduino.

# Trigger pin: 4
# Echo pin: 5
u = r.arduino.ultrasound_sensors[4, 5]

time_taken = u.pulse()

distance_metres = u.distance()


If the ultrasound signal never returns, the sensor will timeout and return None.