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Interfacing Arduino with MATLAB and Blinking LED

Interfacing Arduino with MATLAB and Blinking LED

This is a handy skill to have when you want to connect your PC or laptop to external hardware, such as an Arduino board. Let's dive right into the process step by step.

H1: Connecting to the COM Port

To begin, make sure you have your PC or laptop connected to the external hardware (e.g., an Arduino board) using a USB cable. Once the hardware is connected, we need to identify the COM port it's using.

Check COM Port in Device Manager:

  • Navigate to "This PC" on your computer.

  • Right-click and select "Manage."

  • In the Computer Management window, click "Device Manager."

  • Look under the "Ports (COM & LPT)" section to find the COM port associated with your hardware. Note down this COM port number.

H2: Configuring MATLAB Simulink

Now that we have identified the COM port, let's configure MATLAB Simulink to communicate with the external hardware.

Open MATLAB Simulink:

  • Launch MATLAB on your computer.

Access Simulink Library:

  • In Simulink, navigate to the Simulink Library browser.

Select Appropriate Block:

  • In the Simulink Library, locate the block corresponding to your hardware. This block is usually included in the Simulink Support Package for your specific hardware.

Connecting to External Hardware:

  • To create a simple example, let's consider blinking an LED connected to your Arduino board.

  • Add a "Digital Output" block to your Simulink model.

Configuring the Digital Output Block:

  • Right-click on the "Digital Output" block and add it to your model.

  • Configure the block to specify which pin of the Arduino board you want to control.

Setting Parameters:

  • Define the parameters for your LED blink. For example, set the amplitude to 1, which typically corresponds to a high output level, and adjust the frequency to 0.5 Hz (2 seconds on, 2 seconds off) for a 50% duty cycle.

Configure Simulink Model:

  • Under the "Tools" menu in Simulink, open the "Run on Target Hardware" parameters.

  • Select the appropriate hardware board (e.g., Arduino).

Select the COM Port:

  • Manually set the COM port number to match the one you identified earlier.

Compile and Download:

  • Click the "Run" button to compile your Simulink model and download it to the Arduino board.

H3: Observing the LED Blink

After successfully downloading the program to the Arduino board, you should observe the LED connected to the specified pin blinking as per your configuration.


In this tutorial, we've covered the essential steps to interface MATLAB Simulink with external hardware, such as an Arduino board, through the COM port. This knowledge can be invaluable when you want to control and monitor hardware components using Simulink.

Now, you have the power to create various projects that involve real-time control and data acquisition using MATLAB Simulink and external hardware.

If you have any more questions or need further assistance, please feel free to ask.


FAQ 1: Can I use other software besides MATLAB Simulink for hardware interfacing?

Yes, there are other software platforms and programming languages, such as Python and LabVIEW, that can also be used for hardware interfacing, depending on your project's requirements and your familiarity with the tools.

FAQ 2: Are there specific Simulink Support Packages for different hardware platforms?

Yes, MATLAB offers a range of Simulink Support Packages tailored to different hardware platforms, including Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and more. These packages provide pre-built blocks and drivers to simplify the hardware integration process.

FAQ 3: Can I control more than one hardware component simultaneously using Simulink?

Yes, you can control multiple hardware components concurrently by adding the corresponding blocks and configurations to your Simulink model. This allows you to create complex control systems involving multiple sensors and actuators.

FAQ 4: What other projects can I undertake with MATLAB Simulink and hardware interfacing?

The possibilities are vast! You can create projects ranging from simple LED control to robotics, automation, data acquisition, and even Internet of Things (IoT) applications. Simulink's versatility allows you to tackle a wide range of engineering and control tasks.

FAQ 5: Where can I find more resources and tutorials on MATLAB Simulink and hardware interfacing?

You can explore additional resources, tutorials, and documentation on MATLAB's official website, as well as online forums and communities dedicated to MATLAB and Simulink users. These resources provide valuable insights and guidance for various hardware interfacing projects.

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