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Arduino Arcade Controller - Updated 11/9/2014


I really do love Arduinos. These small electronic prototyping platforms provide a wealth of connectivity options and they are really easy to work with.

Today at Blackpool Makerspace I worked on an Arduino Leonardo based controller for an art installation project in Blackpool. The premise is that the Arduino emulates the keyboard and enables me to breakout the keys into big buttons for children and adults to play with.


After a lot of Googling, tinkering and some swearing I finally managed to get it working and tested via Pacman and Space Invaders :)

The code is available via my github

The kit that I used to build this projects is as follows

  • Arduino Leonardo
  • Large breadboard
  • Lots of Male to Male jumper wires
  • 5x 10k ohm resistors (Brown, Black, Orange)

The Arduino Leonardo can easily emulate a USB keyboard and mouse and has a great library to work with.

Next job is to test it with a Playstation Dance mat, time for me to scour the charity shops and car boots :)

Below is a layout diagram, hope it helps I'm not a design guru.



I recently purchased an Arduino Pro Micro, which uses the same microcontroller as the Leonardo (32u4). Using the same script and wiring layout the project was easily migrated across to the much smaller board. And this board is available for £3 from Chinese ebay resellers.