The SitePoint PHP blog has continued their series looking at connecting the real world with the online world via Minecraft and an Arduino. In this new post author Christopher Pitt picks up where he left off in part one and brings the Arduino in to the picture.
In the first part of this series, we learned a bit of Minecraft and the circuitry we can make inside it. We also made a circuit to alert us when the door to our mansion was opened. We then hooked this virtual alarm to a listening PHP script, so we can know when the door is opened in the context of a PHP script.
In this part, we’ll build a small Arduino-based alarm circuit. We’ll learn how to trigger the alarm, using the the official IDE and programming language, and then using something called Firmata. We’ll round the series out by connecting the alarm circuit to the Minecraft circuit, so we hear a real alarm for Minecraft mansion.
He takes some time at the beginning of the post introducing the Arduino hardware and what they have to offer. He lists the parts you'll need for this setup to work and how they need to be set up. He then gets into the code for the Ardunio side and how to get it over to the board. He presents another option to the potentially painful change-reupload cycle of debugging Arduino code: using the PHP "carica/firmata" library to connect to and add listeners to hook into the board. He uses this to then set up a PHP script to watch for changes in the Minecraft log files and fire an event to the waiting Arduino board.
The final item in this part of the tutorial series talks about bringing in the "Gorilla" extension for Carica Firmata to help prevent issues with too fast connections to the board interrupting the boot sequence.