Giveaway: 4 LeoStick Arduino Leonardo compatible USB sticks

Posted on Tuesday, February 14th, 2012 in Arduino, contest by DP

Freetronics’ new LeoStick is an Arduino Leonardo compatible USB board. It’s a simple breakout for the ATmega32U4 microcontroller in small USB stick shape. It has 2 RGB LEDs and a buzzer on-board for experimenting.

The LeoStick is just like the upcoming Arduino Leonardo, but given the “honey, I shrunk the kids” treatment! Just pop it into your USB port (no cable required!) and upload straight from the Arduino IDE.

We are giving away 4 LeoSticks! Leave a comment on this post with an idea for a LeoStick project, and one of the boards could be yours on Thursday.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 14th, 2012 at 3:00 pm and is filed under Arduino, contest. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

194 Responses to “Giveaway: 4 LeoStick Arduino Leonardo compatible USB sticks”

  1. michu says:

    I would test if the leo usb performance is similar to the teensy board. If so I could use it as teensy alternative for my PixelInvaders project.


  2. Jnat says:

    I am making a USB Mame Arcade Stick with a brigade of 74hc165 for multiplexing inputs. This Leonardo is what i need to do the USB hid part !!

  3. Ultrasounder says:

    Dear Leostick,
    How would you like to be my valentine? Huh?

  4. Aravind says:

    This could be a perfect start point for a project on Home automation using Zigbee-like interface. A software needs to be designed (maybe VB) to interface the home appliances to a laptop. This neat little Arduino can be used as a hassle free interface to a Zigbee module/shield or something similar (piggybacking on it).

    Make your laptop control your home lights right from your couch! :D

  5. haley says:

    I’m currently working on a project involving EMG muscle sensing for machine control. It would be nice to use this board for development. Firstly would be to combine this board with my design of EMG front end. There was an article a while ago on SparkFun that links to a source on using Pro Micro with ATmega32U4 as a simple USB keypad. This LeoStick, combined with the mentioned source, could speed up my development time.

  6. Vladimir says:

    I would solder RFM12B ISM radio module on top of it to control my wheel robot from a laptop.

  7. Pedro Diogo says:

    I would build a game called Maracas Hero and use one board to build the controllers (i.e. Maracas!!) controlled via USB!


  8. mekanics says:

    As my first arduino project, I want to use the LEDs to show the build state of a project. simply start with arduino ;)

  9. B.Griffin says:

    RGB LEDs? We can make some cheap colourful psychedelic lighting outta it. Wait, add an MP3 decoder here. Let it play some cool Hendrix’s tunes. Let the colours dance and swirl on the beat! Or we can make a little musical artificial lava lamp out of it too.

  10. Nice one!
    I am thinking it can be used for PC locking.
    Two options here:
    1. Software that locks the PC expects a specific code sequence to be sent by Leo then unlocks the PC. If Leo is removed PC becomes locked.
    2. Same thing but this time Leo may have a button matrix shield on top. Then when you plug it in PC, you have to enter the password. Then Leo sends the unlocking sequence.

    Any other variants are possible of course.

  11. Nice looking board indeed.
    Looks like I can use it in my mini hexapod project.

  12. philip says:

    oooh man! this sounds simple but ide like to make a plug and swing POV with that – just load the patterns and swing it like a light saber!!

    the force be with you!

  13. Chris says:

    O, the things I can make with a LeoStick.

  14. brian says:

    I’d like to see if I can use it for my FIRST robotics team via xbee/zigbee for passing commands to our robot, and getting diagnostic data broadcast from the robot.

  15. Dave Myers says:

    I’m an Intro Computer Science teacher and would be interested in testing one of the LeoSticks for possible use in the classroom as a way to demonstrate and introduce Arduino (and uController in general) programming to my students.

  16. cubeberg says:

    PC Controlled fireworks display! A little programming and you could sync it to music!

  17. jolan says:

    it would be perfect for a micro-cnc : 3*4 i/o for steppers , piezzo as a tool change warning, and enough inputs for sensors.

  18. fcobcn says:

    I would love to get one,
    there are a lot of things happening just now about the leonardo (translations needed)

  19. John Tarbox says:

    With that piezo speaker speaker and extremely small size this would make a great morse code trainer and iambic keyer.

  20. Goran says:

    I would use the HID feature to create a small device that would automate repetitive system admin tasks, i.e. plug in the board, which then sends a bunch of keys (=a “command”) to the host OS. The IO ports would be used to create a small UI (LCD display + some buttons and/or a small joystick), from which the desired command is selected. A slightly more ambitious target would be to include some form of scripting language, to enable more complex commands.

    The same technique has supposedly been used to create trojan USB keys that deliver hostile payloads, there is however no reason the same concept cannot be used for good and achieve significant time savings, for example when installing new drivers, upgrading software on lots of computers etc.

  21. Joern says:

    This would make a neat interface for a RGB-String I have. Making it possible to interface it to the controlling PC without a big black-box-controller inbetween.

  22. Hermann says:

    The first thing I would make would be a program that checks my mails and shows the number of new mails and the priority. Green for normal, red for high.

  23. Chad Adams says:

    My development computer sits under my desk and gets pretty hot sometimes. I would use this with a couple of thermistors to monitor the temperature of my computer and the surrounding area. I would run the thermistors to key areas inside the case and under the desk to measure hot spots. Then, if any of them got too hot, I’d use the piezo to sound an alert so that I would know when the computer or area is too hot so I can shut it down before doing damage.

  24. Douglas Bouttell says:

    I would probably make something like a little Add-on Mail notifier for your laptop or something.

  25. Kamil Zadora says:

    I would use this along with my tiny usb enabled (6x6cm) OpenWrt router to create a wifi controllable led matrix display and sensor platform and use it as a clock/display/thermometer/spectrum analyzer.

  26. v4_ says:

    I would probably use it for a remote keyboard and mouse using one of those cheap RF Rx/Tx modules from eBay

  27. Dave the rave says:

    I would use it to make a USB component analyser – like the DP one but without an LCD

  28. jfenwick says:

    This would make a cheap platform for my DMX controller I’m working on.

  29. kmmankad says:

    I’m building an RF module for the arduino,based on the CYRF6936 (2.4Ghz ISM band),so I can have that board stack on,and this could be the master node for my energy monitoring wireless sensor network,which conveniently plugs in and uses its HID interface to relay data from the nodes and have that plotted in a LabView GUI,or to Pachtube.

    This could also be the ideal solution for PC(or tablet) connectivity to my re-design of the OpenEEG project’s hardware,since this allows for more than just data logging,since I could then have a brain controlled mouse/keyboard in a very convenient form factor,which opens up a whole ton of further possibilities.

    This could also be the brains of my light weight tricopter,and due to its size and USB plugin-ability,no need to pesky programmers while in the field.The RGB leds would be great for night flight :-)

  30. Qiau says:

    It’s so fluffy I’m gonna die!!

    On a more serious note, I’d use it for developing my herb growing monitoring system. Since I’m a total newcomer to farming herbs I need to make sure all numbers (as humidity, temperature and light for example) are saved to a computer (since statistics are the real fun stuff) :)

  31. Josh says:

    This would be an excellent alternative to a deaddrop. Instead of sharing files, once plugged into a laptop, it triggers an event. I’d be very interested in deploying these in that fashion to possibly create an LED read out or trigger a motor which would release a gift when plugged in.

  32. Moolder says:

    I Would Build a Test Status display: red glowing Build Server Equals Tests failed!

  33. I’m currently on the plan stage of a USB stick software update device, it’d be great for prototyping it.

  34. Thatcher says:

    I want to build a CNC controller using the Leonardo. This would be a vital prototyping stage as I could test the circuit and software without committing to building a circuit board and buying chips. It would also allow me to keep the cost low as I wouldn’t need an FTDI chip.
    Here’s to hoping!

  35. I’ve been meaning to build my own U4 breakout to play with building useful little keyboards for specific applications. Getting one that is known to work would make that less painful.

  36. Three ideas, pick the one you prefer.

    Firstly , as anything with a buzzer and some leds. Portal song and complementing light show.

    Then a cryptographic key containing the private key of an RSA or SHA implementation with the computer having the public key. Run code on computer, when key connected (authenticate and unlock something).

    Finally an apocalyptic usb which shutdowns computers with apocalyptic music and code red light show.

    All music will be stored in memory, not planning to interface this with an MP3 decoder as the chips are really expensive. Also possible to wire this to a ultra cheap chinese MP3 to play sounds. Will see what suits best if I am chosen.

    Thanks for your time.

  37. m_m says:

    I’d try to cram in as much of a superprobe clone as possible.

  38. FourthDr says:

    I’d make a doorbell/mail delivery alert. Just pair the LeoStick with fm transmitter modules, and at the doors and mail box with fm transmitters and switches. When mail arrives, the buzzer on the LeoStick makes a unique tone with a unique rgb color display (like red white and blue for US mail). Always seem to miss those important deliveries, like a LeoStick mailed to me! ;-) :-D :-)

  39. FourthDr says:

    Did I mention it could tweet or email me if I’m not around? :-D

  40. teslatree says:

    I would use the LeoStick with a 434MHz rf module to interface temperature and weather sensors.

    My neighbor has a nifty wind speed/wind direction thing outside, and we’ve got 3 temperature sensors ourselves, but with a very cluttered and completely offline monitor system.

    The LeoStick would live on top of my Ubuntu server, which would record the collected weather data in a database and publish it using JSON.

    The project would be documented as it moved along.

  41. lahcen says:

    I would like to use the LeoStick for room climate control project, using a temperature sensor to measure
    room temperature, humidity sensor and light/dark sensor. the measured temperature will be used to control the heating. Humidity will be used te control the window and the light/dark sensor wil control the room light. The LeoStick will be linked to an I/O board where actuators are placed to control heating, window and light.


  42. It would be awesome to try to fake a keyboard AND a usb key with this…
    I’m pretty sure it’s possible to wrap it a bit to make it look like a genuine usb key.
    Then, it could act like one until a press on the button then it would dump some commands on the USB keyboard…

    That or just a mail / twitter monitor that buzzes when someone mail me :p (useless and annoying but quite nice ;-D )

  43. marcin says:

    microprocessor -> PC bridge, with drop-in wireless module to control other cc2400 modules in a mesh network. multipurpose sensor + relay network.

  44. unrest says:

    Due to it’s size, it’s ideal for microcontroller development when on the run.

    As I’m currently developing an operating system (with textmode user interface) it’s just perfect to fit inside my IBM Model M, thus creating a PERFECT computer. ;)

  45. ian says:

    WOW I am loving this!!!

    I would probably like to use this with a Raspberry-Pi (once released) as part of a autonomous robotics platform I am designing – ultrasonic, sound, servos, LCD display etc, this would be a great addition!!!

  46. AndThen says:

    A paper weight for stamps of course!

  47. David says:

    Perfect for a data logging system for rockets and radio control models. Hookup and altimeter and g force sensor, and optionally current and voltage sensors for electric RC models. Easy downloading of data and firmware updates by plugging directly into PC without special cables and dongles.

  48. Ian Chilton says:


    It would be great to use with an RFM12B as a sensor base station!


  49. Loid says:

    Never won anything. Maybe this is my lucky day…. Learn usb using arduino code… just want one…please

  50. Hendrik Lipka says:

    I need a warning system when the heating system in our house fails again. When we returned from our skiing vacation last saturday, we found out that it hat failed (because the pilot flame went off for some reason). Some rooms where just above the freezing point, and one of the radiators lost half of its water (which is now located in one of the floors). I need something buzzing me during the night, anhd sending me a SMS (or a mail) when this happens again while I’m away, so one of my neighbours can restart the pilot flame. The LeoStick seems to be small enough to be located inside of the heating system itself, making it invisible

  51. Bayu says:

    It’s like to make it as controlled HiFi Audio Preamp :)

  52. ZoomZoomLuke says:

    I would use one to create a cryptographic token with built in entropy using environmental input. It would also use the buzzer for alert tones and led for visual feedback. I have been looking for something like this to use instead of my pic18f2550 USB stick and to take the plunge into arduino programming for the first time.

  53. Chiva says:

    I would build a Wii Classic Controller (the gamepad one) adapter for PC, which uses I2C for communications, by taking advantage of the new USB HID capabilities added to this Arduino platform.

  54. It would be an ideal board to use for my Pollin DCF77 pulse/min receiver. That I could turn my Linux server into a stratum 1 NTP time server.

  55. I would use it to expand my skills, and probably find something fun for it.

  56. tech2077 says:

    I would use this to create a very small, autonomous robot that is a reverse shield to this. I would use a WiiCam board to allow it to travel from beacon to beacon across certain areas in order to remain in that specified area. It would allow for data logging and many other things.

  57. Edward S. says:

    Stack up sensors on “shields” and have a portable USB data recording stick!

  58. Shashi says:

    Our students are working on setting up an atmega32u4 based solution to monitor weather conditions at a remote site – cloud condition, background light level, temperature, humidity etc are logged to an sd card with time stamp using ds1302. Software is nearly done and bread board model to be tested before making final pcb. The availability of the leostick would help advance greatly in this project – cutting down our development time – maybe we could use the leostick itself in the final project rather than laying out the atmega32u4 + related components a fresh..

  59. Pesse says:

    I´m trying to build a drink making machine with some friends, right now we are trying some methods for dispensing the liqueds, but this would be perfect for the brain part of the project…

  60. Jay Wilkinson says:

    Oooooh! I want one! That would make a great free PCB too!

  61. Benjamin Fiset-Deschenes says:

    I plan on installing about 15 meters of digitally addressable RGB led strip (LPD8806) around the ceiling of a room. I would like to create a small control pannel which could fit inside a single wall outlet space (sorry I’m french,I don’t know how to say this right…).

    The interesting thing about this is that it is Arduino compatible so I could use the LPD8806 library already available. The size of the board seems ideal. The RGB leds already on the board would be great to preview a color effect config before applying it to the strip. I could use the two leds to indicate a fade from one color to another and so on!

    The buzzer would make a small “click” sound (like the click wheel of an old Ipod video).

  62. udif says:

    Use it to create an etch-a-sketch like mouse (two potentiometers, one controlling the X axis, one controlling the Y axis).

  63. juan delacosta says:

    i would like to learn aurdino

  64. april j says:

    I am an arduino newbie so my first project would be something simple like turning off and on the LED. After getting that working, I would do a project using the build in speaker. Thanks for the opportunity to win one of these boards.

  65. mh says:

    I would love to get started with microcontrollers, but have no real budget for it. so I could really use this to kickstart me with arduinos and see if that is the way to go. I have no project in mind (unless you call learning a project in itself). But we all need to do a few blinkenlights before moving up to something real, right?

  66. Noel says:

    I would love to have one of these. One leostick project I have in mind is to interface it with an RF12 module so I can have my laptop act as the brains of a home automation project.

    i was thinking of setting up a home automation thing, putting current sensors on devices such as TV, refrigerators, lamps, and monitor their current consumption, wherein each node has an RF module and setup a mesh network with my leostick as the central node.

    I can then use my laptop to monitor everything, and probably even control remote appliances by turning them on/off if the remote node has a relay.

  67. TiBounise says:

    I’m thinking of some kind of Yubikey (a usb key that can log you on your computer, just pushing a button on the hey) with an fingerprint reader. The device will be recongnized by the computer as an HID device and anytime you scan your finger, it will enter your password.

  68. I will put this in my robot!

  69. rll says:

    Add MIDI to a cheap musical keyboard that doesn’t have MIDI built-in

  70. yancheelo says:

    LeoStick would be perfect to implement a very simple project that I have in mind: controlling the scrolling of the current active window with a simple movement of the hand. A proximity sensor is connected to LeoStick which will scroll down the page if the hand is moving towards the sensor, or scroll up if the hand is moving away from the sensor.
    Some other application may be developed, for instance a digital Theremin

  71. B says:

    I’ll finally have good base to start learning digital electronics :>

  72. Joshua Hull says:

    I would use it as a kind of musical keyboard. Map each key on a keyboard to a tone/light combination on the LeoStick and you’ve got yourself a digital instrument. Neat, huh?

  73. Alecs says:

    I would like to make a midi over usb DJ controller

  74. Denver says:

    Interesting how one of these could act as a low end speaker and a budget visualizer all by itself. I’d like to use one of these to create a switchable keyboard-mouse device for Android tablets or netbooks.
    Oh! what the heck. Maybe make a full sized ambilight display for the laptop.

  75. Daniel Wright says:

    I would use it to teach my boys how to design embedded projects. It would be awesome for smaller projects that the full size arduino is just too big for.

  76. XTL says:

    Doesn’t seem to be bug-compatible, so I’d liberate it from the crapduino roots and use it as a real minimal USB AVR dev board. Maybe work towards a programmer/sniffer/wiggler device. Or just datalogging, which seems the obvious target.

  77. Joe Donovan says:

    I would love to use this device as a simple display/control for showing the bandwidth use of my network. All my traffic is currently routed through a home server so with a simple processing program and the arduino I can have a visual display letting me know if the lag I might see playing an online game is the result of downloads/internal traffic or ISP related issues.

  78. Levi says:

    Looks like it would be great for a custom game controller for the PC.

  79. Delmar says:

    How about model rocket telemetry and control.

  80. Thomas says:

    I would like to implement an RF base station with the LeoStick. The LeoStick will be connected to a PC an receive sensor data from wireless sensors around an in the house.

  81. Fredrik says:

    I’d like to try to interface the stick to a small desktop CNCmill/3D-printer that I’m building.

  82. Bp says:

    Ooh, looks nice! I’d first do a SD card raid then something like face tracking a Nerf gun turret or a game pad stocked with cheat codes maybe even a icecast radio having the input feed by usb. So many ideas…

  83. Jens says:

    I would love to play with this :D

  84. Gianni says:

    A secure key for software: you program the usb stick with a key, software search the stick and request the key. Leds and buzzer show access status. It can be useful for store some user parameters or to grant different user-level access to many people that must to use the same software

  85. Tod Stetson says:

    I want to use it to emulate a usb keyboard and map the output from a joystick ( to keyboard keys so I can use it with MAME (multiple Arcade Machine Emulator)

  86. justin says:

    I could use one of those for a cool VU meter for my amp that I am designing

  87. G.Ray says:

    Something wireless indeed…

  88. Hans Sczyrba says:

    Sometimes I wish I could just have a simple setup to record power usage over a relatively short period without complex monitoring components. This device, together with a laptop and a couple of Non-invasive AC current sensor would be just the charm :)

  89. Scott says:

    I’m building a Engine Dyno for a VW Vanagon! This would make a great USB interface for me!

  90. Donnal says:

    My officemates like to play pranks on each other and this would be especially useful for that. One of them used a similar board and the HID to recreate a mouse that wiggled the cursor randomly. This would help me get back at him.

  91. Morten says:

    I would use one as a input output device for my car pc project, which includes a couple of things:
    Coming home and leaving home functions.
    “Police” blink using the foglights or similiar.
    Control my Daytime running ligts PWM according to light, and when its dark enough automaticly turn on the low beam.
    See driving statiscics on a webpage that gets uploaded thu the car pc everytime the car is running, showing data like, idle time, average speed, top speed, locations, and even add functions like remote “kill start” function on the webpage.

  92. Istvan Urban says:

    I just want to make a cyclocomputer in a mint box possibly with a graphical display.

  93. Chris says:

    Build a wireless plugin module and use it for communicating with the wireless sensor network i’m building.

  94. Shawn Moore says:

    I would like to build a small data logger that would be able to utilize plug in type sensors (like Vernier) to write data to a microSD that could then be downloaded when plugged in to a computer.

  95. KPR says:

    Well someone has already beaten me to the two projects I would use it for so my only other project that would that this tiny unit would come in handy for would be a wifi enabled better / humane mouse trap for my basement / attic..

    This unit as the brains, and the addition of infrared sensors, a servo motor driver to close the trap door and a transmitter ( RFM12B ) to call home once the critter is trapped..


  96. Lawrence says:

    Recently I have purchased my first Arduino Uno ad made an SD card shield using salvaged parts. I am faily new to electronics and im trying to get my hands on things like this to use, evaluate, and increase my knowledge. Besides im a newbie to “Dangerous” so…………………….pick me pick me

  97. Murli says:

    Ideal for my Alarm Clock Project! Interface a 16×2 text LCD and a RTC. a couple of push buttons. There will still be some I/O s left.Which can be used to switch on/off relays that can in turn be used to switch different home appliances on/off at different times of the day!

  98. Donn O'Malley says:

    I would like to use it as a “key” for my existing Arduino=>X10 Home automation System.
    The Key would plug in directly to the Arduino (H.A. Controller). I would then add the encryption I have wanted to and they key would be responsible for processing the encrypted command. Only verified commands will be processed. The H.A. Controller will not respond to any commands if the key is not plugged in.
    My Clients(Intranet Page/Android App) will be updated to create the encrypted command.

  99. Zeta says:

    I’m building a C8051F320 based controller but I have been told it would be easier for people to source an atmega with arduino bootloader instead of the f320 so I might port my code to the arduino.

  100. Philip says:

    I woul like to make something similiar to the USB toy, with a focus on home automation / hpc.

    You would need a simple addon board, basically a IR reciever, a IR LED a transistor and a couple of resistors.
    Then you could interface with the PC and either controll your PC with a common remote control, or controll your Stereo, TV, etc with the PC. Add a small 433MHz radio transmitter and you can controll half of the devices in your living room.
    You can also add a small battery for offline operation and program more complex interactions (If you recieve signal 1, send signals 2 and 3, wait for 5 minutes and then send signal 4)

    You could emulate a USB keyboard and use that to execute simple commands without the need for specialised software:
    – If I switch off my Stereo Reciever, automatically send “[win]+[r] shutdown -s [enter]” via the keyboard
    – If I mute my TV, send “[media mute]” via the keyboard
    – …

  101. Joshua Franz says:

    I would build a secure USB key for a computer such that when you plug it in, it will unlock your computer for you. Perhaps it already exists, but I would love to make an open-source variant.

    Another possible use would be use the HID capabilities to make a foot-pedal escape key for all you VI/VIM users out there. Sound ridiculously nerdy/lame? Yes. But it’s helpful. Escape is the one key that is far out of reach of your fingers, and every time you switch between command mode and insert mode, you waste precious seconds of your programming time.

  102. Julio says:

    I great use of this Leonardo would be to construct a aquanode on a WSN (Wireless Sensor Network).
    This could help to a better understand the biology of a lake, river or even the sea, due to his side and possible management of power consumption.

  103. Bo :o) says:

    I would build a 1-wire add-on interface for my NSLU2 based weather-server ( ) adding data from my gas and power-meter.
    After that it would also be great to use it for connecting a serial based LCD….

    Bo :o)

  104. Catherine Soo says:

    easter is coming up soon and wouldn’t it be cool to disguise this as an easter egg which had a ton of quirky features such as changing the RGB colour when the piezo detects a knock.

  105. Mike Burr says:

    I’d love to see what attaching the little Leo board to my MacBook can accomplish for use as a bench top test standard for our daughter boards.

  106. Jacob B says:

    Would be a great password dongle. My company does program whitelisting at work so this could act as a keyboard with a small screen on it. This could be a replacement for keepass which wont work on my computer. A small LCD sheild on top and 3 buttons would allow it to enter in my usernames and passwords acting as a keyboard. The LCD/Button shield would also be a great board for everyone using the LeoStick

  107. Dimiter C says:

    I would use the LeoStick to build a RF spectrum analyzer and stream live data to a Processing app. The 3.3V is ideal for a low power radio such as CC430 . I have already written the processing app, since I have tested it with a pic.

  108. Troy H says:

    I would like to use this board as the basis for a movement sensing alarm for caravans. The form factor would allow development whilst on the road and camping

  109. Gregg Bond says:

    I would love to try and use this for a simple “digital” ocarina. the in-built USB connector would mean the Mode and Route could be changed simply and the onboard piezo could (in theory, with some 8-bit style fidelity) produce the tones.

    All in a neat tiny package.

  110. JSF says:

    This one looks like it would work for my RGB Lightsaber project. There are RGB Lightsabers you can get out there, but they all only let you select from a few colors basically “hard coded” using resistor values.

    Using PWM lets you have a multitude of colors. The downside is how you you select from that multitude of colors? Using USB you can load a number of preset colors that you can then select from with switches. When you want a different set of colors you just load up a new set via USB.

  111. Stephen says:

    I’m looking to create a device which automatically locks the computer when the user walks away. I have an idea of creating a pair of device with a USB capable MCU and a low power MSP430 connected with nrf2401a modules. The USB MCU will constantly check for a heartbeat signal from the MSP430, and lock the computer if the link is lost.

  112. Nick Scott says:

    I’d use it to interface to an RF module, and create some RF controlled LED boards, and use it for physical build notifications, (and notifications of automated test failures) in the CI system at work.

  113. Matt says:

    Awesome, I would love to make a lcd display for my computer, displaying things like cpu power, temp, hdd usage etc, perfect platform for it!

  114. Matt says:

    I Have a couple projects that I am working on for Amateur Radio. One is to try to get some PTZ cameras, taken from an old installation, to function and transmit video from temporary remote locations.

  115. orb7 says:

    Good idea!

  116. orb7 says:

    My idea is sdcard reader to c64.

  117. twinpeaks says:

    I would attach a micro SD card and create a mobile data logger with data upload to a PC via USB. It is small enough to fit inside one of my model planes to record GPS position, barometric altitude, motor current and battery voltage. Or attach a temperature sensor and a battery and log the teperature at different interesting spots in your house (bed room, living room, fridge… :-).

  118. Adam says:

    GarageDoor system: a LeoStick controlling a H bridge for a motor, Zigbee, Bluetooth or other RF module, and an ethernet controller to wire into my home network for online control, microSD card for historical event log. The LeoStick would also interface to a smart battery charger/gas gauge to provide battery backup in case of mains outage. :)

  119. ricros says:

    I’m thinking about building a small logic analyzer, this would be perfect, the samples would be stored on the internal SRAM (or external) and the onboard USB would allow communication with the pc, something like the Logic Shrimp

  120. Senso says:

    I would love to have one of those, I would connect either and RFM12B or a nordic nRF24 and have it talk with my micro-mouse robot so I can have real-time debug data from all the sensors, voltage and current reading and maybe data from the grayscale camera.
    I already have a little board designed in Eagle, but I dont have the Atmega32u4 and my board is way bigger, if anyone wants I can give the design files ;)

  121. Sleepwalker3 says:

    I’d like to use one of these to log data on SMPS’s and other devices, to ensure they are working properly and stable after repair and have a record that could be printed out on PC. Smaller and neater than an Arduino.

  122. ResistanceIsFutile says:

    I would enclose this in a case so it looked like an everyday flash drive, but have it drive RGB LEDs and a tiny speaker so it would impress onlookers when you plugged it in to a computer.

  123. schism says:

    It would make a good device to teach kids in various clubs (ie cub scouts etc) how to use controllers like the old heathkits you used to be able to buy.

  124. Gerard ODonnell says:

    Create a 14-port universal time/temperature based switch that can turn on/off heaters or lights through interposing relays.

  125. Herb Smith says:

    I’m working on a costume for the Oaji Mardi Gras and will be coming up with some fancy lighted robot costume. It would be nice to control the LEDs with the LeoStick, small, built in USB and fully Arduino capable. Later in the year said robot will be coming-out to the Burning Man festival, that is if we finally get some tickets.

  126. Keith Rowley says:

    Controller for a voice controlled talking toy.

  127. Fractal says:

    It’s a pretty small device, and fairly low power too. I’d put on a LCD, eeprom, accelerometer, battery, and hall effect sensor(or reed switch) and mount it on a bike.
    Bike light contrologger. (totally should be a word)
    Can show your relative speed on the RBG LED ‘at a glance’. It could also drive bright side blinkers, to make turn signals clear to other traffic, controlled by a thumb switch. The accelerometer would also detect braking (or a microswitch), and flick on a brighter brake light. When done, simply plug into your computer to upload that day’s stats. If you’re feeling fancy, a GPS could even log your daily route, and ADCs could measure pots on the brake levers and gear controllers. Box would be pretty small, really, and plug in via a locking plug to prevent falling out. End result- pretty graphs.

  128. Joel says:

    Hello! We are currently attempting to build both an autonomous and semi-autonomous blimp at our Science Club. This can be controlled remotely via the Internet from somewhere thousands of miles away, using a laptop and the Arduino.

    We are also planning to add RSS feed capability to it to showcase news feeds on it real-time via an onboard LCD screen.

    Using the Leostick will enable us to reduce the payload weight of our blimp and hence use much less helium.

  129. Carlos Torres says:

    I’t will be a cool way to send mi resume for a new job in a USB stick

  130. Brent says:

    I would use it as a light controller for those RGB LED strings you see on adafruit and dealextreme. I am going to get some cheap housing vacuum tubes. Then cut them in half and drill out holes for ping pong balls. The lights will then be installed into each ball. I am going to run these the length of my fence since I live on a corner lot. Since my fence is white vinyl and the tubing and balls are white is should be not to noticeable during the day.

  131. Joe Bankd says:

    Use this as a Morse Code trainer. The two led lights, and buzzer, would be perfect for that.

  132. StacyD says:

    This should be what 5th graders learn to code hardware on. Cheap, small, and more versatile than a regular arduino.

  133. Greg says:

    I’d like to use one of these in conjunction with a Beaglebone running Android to try and build an accessory using the Android ADK.

  134. Zeke D says:

    Looks like a good size and capabilities for an in-circuit IC testing module. I do alot of troubleshooting on older through hole 74 series components and wind up with a messy setup of dip clips and jumpers before I can manually start probing. This little guy could clean up much of the mess, maybe give me some sanity back and make quick work of exercising a chip with easy USB download of logic table info. Problem is, as long as I keep fixing all the ancient gear, the pointy hair boss won’t upgrade. Nah, I don’t need this, I need a new job.

  135. Kawa says:

    I would use it also for weather forecast. Using C#, download the weather forecast in XML from Yahoo! Weather and modify the RGB led accordingly (e.g. Blue for colder, Red for warmer, Green for same as before the update). The buzzer would signal the refresh and/or errors. Thanks.

  136. Rommel says:

    How about decoding AX.25 for aprs system in amature radio.

  137. Nikolay Debroh says:

    I want to use the Leostick with a Raspberry Pi (Running Arch ^_^), and make a suite to develop measurement instruments.

    Encapsulate the Leostick and the Raspberry and make any mearuse instrument i want, like ECG, Ultrasound, the imagination is the limit. ^_^.

    Im in the area of the electromedical reparation, and know alot about the instruments.

    Sry for mi english, im fro Colombia.


  138. Dan says:

    I’d love to grab one of these for my friend. He would probably use it as a better controller for this CNC machine. He currently uses a Duemilanove, so this would certainly be a step up in terms of USB performance.

  139. Colin says:

    I’d like one to use as a USB host for my wireless automation network. Right now I have a ChipKit completely wasted for just the NRF24L01 when a USB dongle is the ideal form factor. The host receives power usage and temperature broadcasts from the nodes and graphs them on Pachube or similar.

  140. Ryn says:

    This is extremely awesome :D
    I would use it for not only stationary fuctions like sensor reading, due to it’s portability two of them could be used to enable one laptop to be used as a input device (Keyboard) for another one if the Keyboard of the Laptop isn’t functioning correctly.
    Another attempt of mine would be: Interfacing the leostick with a Raspberry Pi, effectively transforming it into more than a very small and efficient home-server (running Debian), it’d be useable to connect all kind of relays and switches, IR-Leds and controlling them remotely. It’d even be possible to monitor the voltage of these attached devices. Cascading and remotely controlling devices and their power -usage without using standby-modes is a very interesting concept to me, it’d be extremely power efficient, using a single 5-volt server with the leostick in order to power up bigger servers, computers, checking if I left the lights/computers on and also keeping a central data management of embedded devices (tapping in with the leostick and/or reading temperature/humidity/light sensors).

  141. Lars Jacobsen says:

    Nice one.
    Should I win one, I’d use it as a mobile prototyping platform, a dance-mat-door-unlock-mechanism interface, a small footprint sensor testbed, a sketch-based programmer, motor control interface any many many other things :)

  142. smiki says:

    soo small. I like small things since the workbench is too cramped already.

    Should I win one I would prototype an artificial ideal environment for growing carnivorous plants. (since they’re quite peculiar) Or maybe finally fully automate my home-made fancy water distiller for the orchids and carnivorous plants, since now it’s quite a hassle to operate but extremely efficient nonetheless.

  143. Caio Souza says:

    I would build an IR repeater. Maybe also some sort of central Universal Remote / Macro player for all of those IR enables devices!

  144. Dean Kroon says:

    I’d add an RFM12b to the bottom and make it into the main node of my auto-greenhouse system I’m rigging up. I’ve already got moisture nodes built, and will be working on other soil reading next (temp, PH, etc).


    • Colin says:

      I’m working on something very similar. I’ve got pumps and outlets controlled, pressure sensors for water level, temperature sensors, ph sensors, etc.

      Got a link to your project? I’m sure it’d be very interesting.

  145. Diego Souza says:

    I’m Brazilian, and there are lot’s of lies about my country around the internet. Most people here hate samba. Most people here don’t know anything about capoeira. I hate soccer.
    I’ve never seen a naked “mulata” walking on the street…

    Because of that, I would make a project that connect the Leostick to the internet, denying every single lie about my contry automaticaly, using a twitter account and my “truthmachine” followers.


  146. Chuckt says:

    Our company has temperature recording units but it requires someone to change the paper wheel every week and the person in charge falls down on the job so our company failed the temperature tests one year.

    I believe this device could log the temperature via a few Xbees and record it to a computer that would always be on.

    I don’t have any money or complete knowledge for this project so I wouldn’t be doing it.

  147. Sven says:

    This would fit perfectly to one of my Arduino sketches :)

  148. Krash says:

    To get kids interested in robotics, I’ve demonstrated how to build a simple programmable robot using only Snap Circuits parts on Instructables here:

    I would like to design a more versatile robot (a line following robot, for example) using the LeoStick.

  149. Crawford says:

    I’m into retrocomputing, mainly CP/M machines. You can’t always pack up an IMSAI to go.

    Here’s my idea: a CP/M machine on a [Leonardo] stick. Add some SPI ram (a couple of microchip 23K256) and a micro SD card adapter, and adapt the work of Sprite ( and toyos ( The emulator would talk through the USB port in classic text terminal mode. Zork, anyone?

  150. Dan says:

    I am currently hunting for the smallest possible form factor for arduino to put on a micro RC plane. Ideally it would need to be 2 grams or less. It would communicate with an RC aircraft carrier (xbee?) which would know the exact location via ultrasound pinging. It would communicate to ideally help with the glide slope approach. Light weight is critical so that I can keep wing loading to a minimum. This is a long term project that I am thinking of starting.

  151. How about a timer with a sound and LED indicators to limit the time a laptop is used by your child. You could have a start sound, so if it was reset by the user, the parent would hear it. You could also write a script to display status or run scripts via processing. Also why not throw some RGB feedback in there? No project is complete without RGB….right? ;)

  152. bearmos says:

    holy comments. . .DP, if you guys get down this far. . .the main reason I’d like one is to get some hands on experience with the Arduino IDE (I’ve actually never used anything Arduino before). I suspect that I’d wind up lend some support in forums on occasion (hopefully there are some more worthy/deserving suggestions in the 150+ comments you’ve received thus far ;-))

  153. Arup says:

    I’ve been currently working on a developing a project that uses the atmega32 mcu. Currently there’s the pdip version, but very soon I’ll need to port to SMD.
    Having this ATmega32U4 board in hand, it’ll be easier for me to do the revisions of the herdware still not producing a SMD PCB. And yes, USB is cool too.
    Maybe I could end up with arduino compatible firmware for my project so that it will be easier for others to adopt it.
    The project’s preview here
    and it’s open source ofcourse.

  154. Brendan Powers says:

    I’m working on an ATXmega32a4U board, and I’m the process of porting the Leonardo USB stack to XMega. In the process I’ve had to make some changes to the API. I’d love to have access to a Atmega32u4 board to make sure my changes are still backward compatible with that chip.

    You can see the XMega board here.
    In some ways, it’s similar to the LeoStick board.

  155. RTGR says:

    I would really like to have one!!

  156. John Schuch says:

    That would be a great board to embed in my solar powered weather station sender project!

  157. paul says:

    I’ll be starting the design phase soon for a wifi/RFID-enabled chess clock timer (with web-site back-end integration). Of course the need for a buzzer is a no-brainer here. The clock itself will ideally interface via USB for mode updates and wi-fi configuration. This would probably be a great prototyping platform, and I’d love to get my hands on one!

  158. kumar says:

    This stick would be great for my NFC sensor based project. I’d like to have and work on one.

  159. Nat says:

    I’ve got 16 strings of the GE G35 RGB LED christmas lights that I’ve begun turning into an 16×36 pixel display. The Leonardo should be a great controller for it.

  160. William says:

    I’d put an RFM12B on it and use it as a tranceiver for home automation (receive weather station signals, and transmit for control of wireless sockets). It’d also be interesting to try using it as a USB host to log to a USB stick.

  161. Kevin Osborn says:

    I’d load Midi USB code to make an easy midi-usb interface for attaching piezos, etc.
    Similar to this:

  162. erdabyz says:

    I’d use one for a ultrasound-based 3D localization system, to locate one or more than one quadrotors in the air and be able to fly autonomously. There would be an ultrasonic pinger that would emmit bursts of ultrasounds. There would also be some receivers in the floor at a known position. The task for this arduino board would be to capture and timestamp the events produced when the receivers detect a burst, so by measuring the time it takes for sound to travel from the pinger to the receivers I could know the distance to every receiver, and then get the 3D position. It will also have to manage radio communications to take inertial sensor data from the pinger, to further filter the estimated 3D position.

  163. Addidis says:

    Nice looking board. I would use it to help people when they are using the newer arduinos. So far my stock of chipkits has come in handy that way but I have no legit arduinos yet. This design is awesome. I can’t wait to play with one.

  164. Ross says:

    Id put it on a long usb extension cable with a 1×16 vfd display to tell me what to wear when I leave the house for work. I’d put it right by my bed. Maybe the buzzer could be my alarm clock!

  165. Noy says:

    Comment ;)

  166. Jason says:

    These would be great for making interfaces to a computer and for quick development. I’d probably use it for interfacing with OBD-II and GPS in my car for data logging and display.

  167. Giuseppe says:

    I’d like to control my new wheel robot or use it for gps acquisition and logging.
    I like it because it’s very little and easy to use

  168. GG says:

    I would use it to create a weapon of unimaginable power so that I could dominate the world!

  169. Michael says:

    I would try to use the portability of the device – small HID interface for making a control-interface (keyboard-like) that can play macros etc. your own portable “internet keyboard”

  170. rik says:

    I would use it to make a USB datalogger, add a small PCB with a small coin cell and some sensors (gyro/accelero/light and some others can be made fairly small)
    plug it in to charge/setup, unplug, throw in your bag and start logging :)
    back home, plug it in again and get the logged data.

  171. Thomas says:

    Did anyone try to use the Bus Ninja (Bus Pirate clone) code with this? If not I would try to. This would be handy for my on-the-go equipment.

  172. John says:

    I’d add some buttons to it to do macros or other such tasks. maybe make the foot pedal controls for google reader I’ve been wanting to build.

  173. wiebel says:

    I would make it a data aquisition tool, to have some heavy controlling or measuring done on the computer. Or of course the usual prank toy any HID device could become. Maybe combined with something like a PIR sensor. ;)

  174. Steve says:

    This would be perfect to update my theater cue light system. Right now it multiplexes power and RS485 comms for 8 outstations onto 3 core XLR (audio) cable. All the real time comms at the controller end is handled by the PC talking via a USB to RS485 serial adapter, but the PC is really not up to holding the timing reliably. (The outstations use STM8S microcontrollers to handle comms, touch switches and cue LEDs).
    What I’d do with this device would be to piggyback an RS485 interface and let the Atmega handle the real time comms: then the PC could just talk to this via a serial interface at user-interaction speeds.

  175. Christopher says:

    Sweet. I could teach my son how to program.

  176. Taper says:

    I’ve got a few old AlphaSmart portable keyboards/word processors (a review link is , but the upshot is a laptop keyboard with memory and a 40×4 character LCD) I got when a local school stopped using them. I’ve been sketching out a USB upgrade which would also provide a serial terminal, and the LeoStick looks just about perfect for this.

  177. Kevin says:

    This is a cool little board… A cool project that I would like to try with it would be a gel color analyzer. This is a component that a small theater company could use to help sort lighting gel. I know it isn’t an amazing idea, but as a project it would be seriously fun :)

  178. Cody says:

    This board might work for an assistive project on which I would like to work. I have made a mouse to attempts to cancel out random hand motions and outputs a smooth averaged motion. A software version works well, but a hardware version still needs optimization. The pointer does not move rapidly in a random motion, but it does not move where it is intended either.

    I would like to make another version that can take a normal mouse as input and outputs a smoothed motion as normal USB mouse output. I have not experimented with it yet, but I would like to have simulated double clicking when the mouse button is held down for a given amount of time, single clicking for some amount of time less than that and no clicking for quick presses of the button. Audible output for a double and single click should be produced. With this board additional modifications could be used to solve problems with keyboard input as well.

    I would like to avoid software that has to be installed on the computer so that the device can be plugged between any mouse and any computer with USB input. I am interested in this because of my grandfather who at 93 has a lot of trouble with computer input, but who still uses a computer everyday for things that would be hard or impossible to do without one. Any other ideas would be more than welcome. I have considered a four button diamond shaped pad input that acts as four coordinate directional motions or a second button that changes mouse input sensitivity so that fine motions are output from broad mouse movements when the button is pressed. This board would be a good central input/output control unit.

    • Kevin says:

      This one should certainly win a leostick over mine. That is an awesome project. Good luck :)

      I have talked with my brothers about projects that help those with disabilities… I really should start working on some of those.

      • Cody says:

        Thanks man. It is something I play with from time to time but I have never dedicated enough time to it to really work out the details and make a functional device. There are a lot of good ideas here and from a lot of people better suited to carry them out. I would like to see this project worked on even if it is by someone else. As long as it is open source that is :)

  179. Kevin says:

    I watched a documentary a year or more ago ( though the movie is from 2006 ) where there were three brothers. One of the brothers was diagnosed with ALS which is very disabling. The brothers had a daily ritual of playing video games against each other via the internet… For the brother with ALS it got harder and harder for him to control his computer. One of the brothers got the idea of making a specialized controller using a board that was mounted to a two axis tray using drawer slides ( think of a CNC table ). Even though it was a rudimentary design, and pretty rustic build at best, it was very successful in helping his brother control a computer mouse. Maybe you can look into something like that rather than a mouse… though, the inline controller/input smoother is a great idea.

    By the way, the documentary was “So Much So Fast”… it is good, though heartbreaking.

    • Cody says:

      That is not a bad idea. Something to stabilize the motion by offering support or resistance might work but it would be good if it was small enough to fit on a desk while using a computer without having to reach far because that requires more strength if someone is going to hold that position. Keeping to experience as much like normal computer use as possible is one of the goals. I bought a couple of Chronos watches to play with but the experience is different and clicking is still a problem.

      By the way the first two results when Googling “So Much So Fast controller” are solutions to a completely different problem.

  180. Kevin says:

    Ha! If you could somehow wrap that fix ( for those search results ) into your design you may just change the world.

    I was thinking about your project on the way home from work and it seems that you could easily make something that the hand rests on that had mouse buttons and the cnc tray type layout for input as well. You could make it roughly threw size of the hand. With a little work you could make it rather comfortable to use and slim so you weren’t raising the hand more than a comfortable height. You could possibly add a rotary pot for smoothing control. This is a very interesting project. You wouldn’t, by chance, be located in central Florida would you?

  181. Cody says:

    I like that idea a lot. I might try to work something up for that design soon. If it was level with resting position of the forearm in a chair, or a little bit higher, so the elbow could stay back with the wrist not fitting the frame or base that could be really cool. It would also solve the problem of my grandfather always dropping his mouse.

    Afraid not. I’m in Texas. If you are really interested I can locate some of the prototypes and experiments and mail them your way in a few weeks or so. You could probably improve them or get an idea of where to go at the least. Or hell, just have a good laugh at some of the ludicrous work around and hacks I try.

    You can message me at Cody on the DangerousPrototypes forum.

  182. Elden W says:

    I am just starting out in DIY electronics and this would get me started. I think I would do something basic with turning on and off LED’s

  183. Mircea POP says:

    I need one for educational purposes to make a toy with speaking sequences by pressing some buttons for my babyboy. :) I cannot find one store in my area. Please advice me.

  184. Old Mechanic says:

    I love this. you could turn it into a little multipourpouse gadget; A torch, a radio, a gps using a micro gps receiver, and loads more coll stuff!!!

  185. Filip says:

    It depends on how much time you are looking to spend…On usual days this blog features 7-8 posts, 2 are written by machinegeek, 5-6 are by me, this is not counting Ian’s specials:)…
    Lynn, prepares the generic posts for me, like the back in stock, free pcbs, etc…
    It takes me 1-2h to search the web for interesting topics, etc, and another 1-2h to write up the posts.

    When you get your source list is built up, and you get into the motions, you can expect to put in 3-4h a day for 6 post daily.

    Now Video posts like the Workshop Videos take a hell of a lot longer, sometimes a whole day, sometimes a whole week.

    Basically it’s at least a 3h a day job…
    Hope this helps..

  186. USB Guy says:

    I can use one of these in my new haptic dildo design. It will be small enough to fit inside the tube including a LiPo battery.

  187. Daniel Wright says:

    I could use one as a portable light controller for a DJ system. Just need a few extra parts to connect to DMX.

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