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Legacy Capacitive Sensor Add-On Library for Arduino

version 1.2.1 (94.2 KB) by MathWorks MATLAB Hardware Team
Communicate with capacitive sensor built with two Arduino pins in MATLAB


Updated 22 May 2019

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This add-on is supported for MATLAB R2016a - R2018b.

This add-on library extends MATLAB Support Package for Arduino Hardware to read from capacitive sensors built with two Arduino pins, a resistor, and a piece of foil. With this add-on, you can estimate the proximity or touch by reading the capacitance value measured in arbitrary units.

Sample usage:
% Create arduino object with the add-on library
a = arduino('COM38', 'Uno', 'Libraries', 'PaulStoffregen/CapacitiveSensor');
% Create capacitive sensor object
sensor = addon(a, 'PaulStoffregen/CapacitiveSensor', 'D9', 'D2');
% Obtain sensed capacitance
cap = readCapacitance(sensor, 30);

It includes documentation and an example that demonstrates the use with the capacitive sensor to detect touch or proximity.

Important: Before using this add-on library in MATLAB, you need to install the CapacitiveSensor Arduino library. Here are the instructions:
1. Download the zip file from
2. Unpackage the zip into local directory and rename the folder to ‘CapacitiveSensor’.
3. Move the ‘CapacitiveSensor’ folder into the "libraries" folder inside your Arduino sketchbook folder:
On Windows, the default path is "My Documents\Arduino\libraries\"
On Mac, the default path is "~/Documents/Arduino/libraries/"
On Linux, the default path is "/home/<username>/Arduino/libraries"

Troubleshooting tips:
1. After installing this add-on library and the required Arduino library, type "listArduinoLibraries" in MATLAB to see if the add-on is properly installed.
2. Wire up the Arduino board and the add-on device properly before creating the object to avoid a connection error in MATLAB.
3. Refer to the documentation for details on usage and syntax. It can be found under Supplemental Software in the product documentation.

Feel free to contact the MATLAB Hardware Team if you have questions about this add-on library:

Cite As

MathWorks MATLAB Hardware Team (2021). Legacy Capacitive Sensor Add-On Library for Arduino (, MATLAB Central File Exchange. Retrieved .

Comments and Ratings (2)

Nathan Spotts

I am having the exact same issue as Kimberley Andersen stated. Using one sensor works fine, but when using 2 sensors, the output is significantly tied more to one of the sensors. Also, using multiple sensors works fine with Arduino.

Kimberley Andersen

I'm finding the add-on works well for a single sensor but when I try adding a second sensor I get the same output on both (as if they were connected). One of them is also barely registering any contact (within noise levels) but works fine individually. The hardware set up works fine in arduino but defining a second sensor as below causes issues in matlab.
sensor2 = addon(a, 'PaulStoffregen/CapacitiveSensor', 'D9', 'D3');

MATLAB Release Compatibility
Created with R2016a
Compatible with R2016a to R2018b
Platform Compatibility
Windows macOS Linux

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