Turn-key PCB assembly services in prototype quantities or low-volume to mid-volume production runs

Custom Arduino keyboard for Minecraft players

Minecraft is pretty well known computer game where you have freedom to build and destroy world elements made of bricks. Some people find it very addictive while other call it waste of time. But all games are more or less waste of time aren’t they? Lakhan Mankani finds Minecraft quite interesting and addictive, so he decided to build a special keyboard for it. He used an Arduino board which interfaces 9 Tactile switches. Gamepad extends existing PC keyboard with those nine buttons – they can be arranged as you like. With current Arduino sketch buttons work with default game controls. There are some issues with some laptop keyboards as it tends to replace its keyboard with gaming pad while playing. Continue reading

Building a 2048 game on Arduino

2048 is a little addictive game where you need to combine numbers appearing in 4×4 matrix to get score up to 2048. more about this game can be found on wiki. Lee developed an Arduino version of this game where he controls game with four buttons and joystick while seeing action on Nokia 5110 graphical LCD . He built all PCBs from scratch leaving only Arduino bootloader on Atmega328 microcontroller. He wanted game device to bee convenient to handle but still doable with home conditions so he split it in to two PCB boards with through hole components. The top board carries LCD, buttons and joystick, bottom board hides microcontroller and power circuit. His home built PCBs look really well made. As power supply he used couple Lithium-Ion batteries and linear 7805 voltage regulator. Even if platform is built for 2048 game it can be used for any game you decide to program. Only memory and imaginations is the limit. Continue reading

Gamebuino – Arduino gaming platform

This is not a secret that big part of embedded projects are games. They can be as simple as “Simon Says” game or complex 3D shooter. In most cases with small micros games are pretty simple but this doesn’t mean that they aren’t fun to play. But sometimes it takes quite an effort to build a convenient hardware that would be easy to hold and control. If you like to focus only on game programming we suggest you to check out a Gambuino – an Arduino gaming console. The most of hard work is already done including custom sleek Arduino board that runs on Atmega328 microcontroller. Game action is visible on 84×84 Nokia3310 monochrome graphical display. It has four channel speaker, four direction arrow and three action buttons. Connectovity includes one micro USB, one uSD and couple of I2C interfaces. Gamepad is powered with 240mAh LiPo battery. A full library helps you to start writing games pretty fast and easy. Library takes care of graphics and game engine, it handles sound effects, menus and keys. For more advanced gaming it… Continue reading

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… Continue reading