Visual Scripting in Arduino


Dates: Tuesdays & Thursdays, June 19, 21, 26, & 28
Times: 6pm – 9pm
Course Length: 12 hours
Cost: $20/instruction hour, $240 total, $216 for GAFFTA Members
Location: GAFFTA, 923 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

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The Visual Scripting for Arduino course will provide a novel introduction to both scripting and microcontrollers. We’ll provide an introduction to programming fundamentals (variables, iteration, conditionals, booleans, and tree structures) and directly apply those lessons to basic electronics fundamentals. We’ll be building simple data capture circuits with Arduino as well as harnessing Firefly’s built-in tools for data capture through sound, image and video capture. We’ll then be using Firefly to control a variety of outputs.
No software investment required. Note that software is dependent on the Windows operating system.

No prior experience with coding or electronics required.

Topics will include:

• Introduction to Programming techniques
• Visual Scripting with Grasshopper ( + Firefly (
• Building circuits to capture data with an Arduino
• Using Firefly to visualize data

About Firefly:

Firefly offers a set of comprehensive software tools dedicated to bridging the gap between Grasshopper (a free plug-in for Rhino) the Arduino microcontroller and other input/output devices. It allows near real-time data flow between the digital and physical worlds – enabling the possibility to explore virtual and physical prototypes with unprecedented fluidity.

As a generative modeling tool, Grasshopper offers a fluid visual interface for creating sophisticated parametric models, but by default, it lacks the ability to communicate with hardware devices such as programmable microcontrollers or haptic interfaces. Firefly fills this void. It is an extension to the Grasshopper parametric interface; combining a specialized set of components with a novel communication protocol (called the Firefly Firmata or Firmware) which together enable real-time interaction between hardware devices and the parametric plug-in for Rhino.


• Laptop (running Windows)
• An Arduino Uno with basic sensors/actuators. See suggested.

NOTE: *No software investment required. Software is dependent on the windows operating system.


• See Jason Johnson’s post for great Arduino kits at (

Mark Edward Campos


Mark Edward Campos is a designer, artist, and fabricator working and living in San Francisco, California. Formally trained in Architecture at California College of the Arts, his work explores the intersection of information design, robotics, custom fabrication, and public space. Currently employed as a Designer and Information Architect at Waze, his recent exhibition and published work strives to expose the influence that information networks can have on our cities.