After making the original Androcade with real arcade controls I felt that I needed a smaller device that was a little more portable. I decided to use a joystick/button shield for prototyping this device.

Taking the same configuration I had in the original Androcade I added support to the arduino program to allow for an analog joystick to control the up/down/left/right. This was pretty straight forward, instead of triggering a serial send via a button I just looked to the value of the analog input and triggered based on thresholds.

The device is a little large at this point because of having to stack a few shields on top of each other but, it works great! The next plan would be to shrink down the prototype into something that fits into your hands. I’ve had a couple ideas – like taking an existing controller and replacing the insides with an Arduino mini but that’s left for another time.

Androcade Handheld

Here are some of the details of the build:

Hardware:

  • Arduino UNO
  • Bluetooth serial shield – (I used the following from iteadstudio)
  • Joystick shield – ( here is the one I used from iteadstudio)

The software on the Arduino side is very simple. I listen for a button push or the analog threshold to be reached and send out a serial command. The serial data is then sent through the bluetooth device out to the Android software.

On the Android side I have created software the reads the serial data and sends out keyboard characters to the system.