Cylon adaptor for Raspberry Pi

Cylon.js For Raspberry Pi

Cylon.js ( is a JavaScript framework for robotics and physical computing using Node.js

This module provides an adaptor for the Raspberry Pi single board computer (

Want to use Ruby on robots? Check out our sister project Artoo (

Want to use the Go programming language to power your robots? Check out our sister project Gobot (

Installing Cylon.js for the Raspiberry Pi is easy, but must be done on the Raspi itself, or on another Linux computer. Due to I2C device support, the module cannot be installed on OS X or Windows.

Install the module with:

$ npm install cylon cylon-raspi

This small program causes an LED to blink.

var Cylon = require("cylon");
  connections: {
    raspi: { adaptor: 'raspi' }
  devices: {
    led: { driver: 'led', pin: 11 }
  workfunction(my) {
    every((1).second(), my.led.toggle);

You can get it from here:

Having trouble with your Raspberry Pi keyboard layout? Use the sudo dpkg-reconfigure keyboard-configuration command.

These commands need to be run after SSHing into the Raspi:

sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get update
tar -xvzf node-v0.10.28-linux-arm-pi.tar.gz
node-v0.10.28-linux-arm-pi/bin/node --version

You should see the node version you just installed.

$ node --version

Once you have installed Node.js, you need to add the following to your ~/.bash_profile file. Create this file if it does not already exist, and add this to it:


This will setup the path for you every time you login. Run the source ~/.bash_profile command to load it right now without having to login again.

Thanks @joshmarinacci for the blog post at where these modified instructions were taken.

This module only works on a real Raspberry Pi. Do not bother trying on any other kind of computer, it will not work. Also note you will need to connect actual circuits to the Raspberry Pi's GPIO pins.

You must add these two entries to your /etc/modules


You must also ensure that these entries are commented in your /etc/modprobe.d/raspi-blacklist.conf

#blacklist spi-bcm2708
#blacklist i2c-bcm2708

You will also need to update the /boot/config.txt file. Edit it add the following text:


Finally, you need to allow the pi user permissions to access the i2c interface bu running this command:

sudo usermod -G i2c pi

Now restart your Raspberry Pi.

You need to install and have pi-blaster running in the raspberry-pi, you can follow the instructions for pi-blaster install in the pi-blaster repo here:

The following object depicts available pins for all revisions of raspberry-pi, the key is the actual number of the physical pin header on the board,the value is the GPIO pin number assigned by the OS, for the pins with changes between board revisions, the value contains the variations of GPIO pin number assignment between them (eg.rev1, rev2, rev3).

You should just be concerned with the key (number of the physical pin header on the board), Cylon.JS takes care of the board revision and GPIO pin numbers for you, this full list is for reference only.

PINS = {
  3: {
    rev1: 0,
    rev2: 2,
    rev3: 2
  5: {
    rev1: 1,
    rev2: 3,
    rev3: 3
  7: 4,
  8: 14,
  10: 15,
  11: 17,
  12: 18,
  13: {
    rev1: 21,
    rev2: 27,
    rev3: 27
  15: 22,
  16: 23,
  18: 24,
  19: 10,
  21: 9,
  22: 25,
  23: 11,
  24: 8,
  29: {
    rev3: 5
  31: {
    rev3: 6
  32: {
    rev3: 12
  33: {
    rev3: 13
  35: {
    rev3: 19
  36: {
    rev3: 16
  37: {
    rev3: 26
  38: {
    rev3: 20
  40: {
    rev3: 21

The website has a great visual representation of this information.

We're busy adding documentation to our web site at please check there as we continue to work on Cylon.js

Thank you!

  • All patches must be provided under the Apache 2.0 License
  • Please use the -s option in git to "sign off" that the commit is your work and you are providing it under the Apache 2.0 License
  • Submit a Github Pull Request to the appropriate branch and ideally discuss the changes with us in IRC.
  • We will look at the patch, test it out, and give you feedback.
  • Avoid doing minor whitespace changes, renamings, etc. along with merged content. These will be done by the maintainers from time to time but they can complicate merges and should be done seperately.
  • Take care to maintain the existing coding style.
  • Add unit tests for any new or changed functionality & Lint and test your code using Grunt.
  • All pull requests should be "fast forward"
    • If there are commits after yours use “git rebase -i <new_head_branch>”
    • If you have local changes you may need to use “git stash”
    • For git help see progit which is an awesome (and free) book on git

Version 0.16.0 - Compatibility with Cylon 1.0.0

Version 0.15.3 - Corrected functionality for i2c.

Version 0.15.2 - Remove node-i2c dependency from package, it is now install via script

Version 0.15.1 - Install node-i2c using script based on node version

Version 0.15.0 - Compatibility with Cylon 0.22.0

Version 0.14.1 - Fix pin and pi-blaster compatability for different board revisions

Version 0.14.0 - Compatibility with Cylon 0.21.0

Version 0.13.0 - Compatibility with Cylon 0.20.0

Version 0.12.0 - Compatibility with Cylon 0.19.0

Version 0.11.0 - Compatibility with Cylon 0.18.0

Version 0.10.0 - Compatibility with Cylon 0.16.0

Version 0.9.1 - Add peerDependencies to package.json

Version 0.9.0 - Compatibility with Cylon 0.15.0

Version 0.8.1 - Fix a bug with PWM pins

Version 0.8.0 - Compatibility with Cylon 0.14.0, remove node-namespace.

Version 0.7.0 - Release for cylon 0.12.0

Version 0.6.2 - Fixes bug with connection not being set on adaptor.

Version 0.6.0 - Release for cylon 0.11.0, refactor into pure JavaScript, i2c bugfixes

Version 0.5.0 - Release for cylon 0.10.0

Version 0.4.0 - Release for cylon 0.9.0

Version 0.3.0 - Release for cylon 0.8.0

Version 0.2.0 - Release for cylon 0.7.0

Version 0.1.0 - Initial release

Copyright (c) 2013-2015 The Hybrid Group. Licensed under the Apache 2.0 license.