MAKE subscriber Michael writes in to tell us about Toolduino, a GUI program that lets you access all of the pins on your Arduino through your computer. To use it, you have to flash a special sketch to your Arduino that implements the Firmata protocol, which allows a connected computer to control all of the pins on the microcontroller without reprogramming it. Then, all you have to do is run the Toolduino program to start interacting with things connected to the ‘duino. This should help you get the interaction parts of your project worked out quickly, after which you can migrate to an Arduino sketch, or just stick with Firmata and write your program in Processing.
Prototype your microcontroller project with Toolduino