Arduino Esplora – gamepad stuffed with sensors and actuators

Arduino announced new toy for Arduino community – an Arduino Esplora. It’s a gamepad that looks rally like a gamepad with it specific PCB shape. Esplora board is derived from Arduino Leonardo, which is based on ATmega32u4. It handles programming interface, USB communications and running programs.

Esplora is designed to do controls. Even if it loos like game controller it doesn’t mean that you cannot use it for other applications. As you may know Leonardo can be configured to have full USB 2.0, or simulate virtual port and even work as generic keyboard or mouse. If you look closely you will find lots of inputs and outputs – analog joystick, 4 push buttons, sliding linear potentiometer, microphone, light sensor, temperature sensor, 3 axis accelerometer, buzzer, RGB LED, 2 TinkerKit inputs and 2 outputs and TFT connector for LCD or SD card. Gamepad can be used to control game running on other microcontroller or PC, or with LCD mounted could be used like PSP portable – well with a little bit less power… It has few through hole components, so gripping might be a bit painful, unless some enclosure is used.

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