Arduboy 2 My Ultimate Hardware Wishlist

Disclaimer, I’m a NOOB about arduino, programming, and hardware/software design. Also, most of these additions would add price, weight and or size. So maybe this is more of a anti-Arduboy, or Arduboy Super lol. Anyway, just for fun here’s my ultimate hardware wishlist for “Arduboy 2”.

  1. bluetooth
  2. wifi
  3. gps
  4. camera
  5. micro sd card reader
  6. infra red
  7. bios
  8. waterproof
  9. color screen
  10. accelerometer

Well, this sounds more like a full size smartphone :slight_smile:


Lol. But open source and micro sized!

I agree, It more sounds like you want a phone. You’re not going to get all that in the size of an arduboy.

My wishes for the 2nd model,

  1. Arm Cortex M4 or M7 Chipsets, These things are built to be small but powerful. You find them used a lot in embeded devices. I use to use M3 at work for IMU processing.
  2. Color Screen (but around the same size).
  3. Micro SD port we can more or less use like a cartridge slot. Use the Flash on the M4/M7 chip as bootloader and OS and then have the app binary pulled from the SD card.

I love the idea of waterproof, I wanna take mine swimming! (Just kidding, but I did take my dev kit on a boat and it survived :P)

My biggest wish is for the thing to be flexible and credit card sized! The business card idea is just way too classy to not be a thing. Although, if nothing ever changed and the price DID get down to $10 per unit one day, that would be pretty awesome in another way!

Personally, I like the B&W screen. Limitations inspire creativity; it’s fun to put new challenges on yourself as a programmer, game developer, artist, or whatever your passion is! I was drawn to the project because of the limitations-- it will be exciting to see how people will make games work with just six buttons, a beepy speaker, and a tiny black and white screen. The NES, Atari 2600, Vectrex and others all had novel limitations. The games that worked with those limitations, using them to their advantage, ended up being the most memorable and greatest games on those systems! On the Arduboy, I can see the games becoming very bite-sized and gameplay oriented!

Regarding the wireless, I’m not sure whether bluetooth is the best choice. Maybe something like xbee? I’d like to see something that would be able to work in a manner similar to Nintendo DS pictochat. In pictochat, you can join any of 4 rooms. If people are within range and in the same room, they will see your message. Once you go out of range, on their screen you disappear again. I’m not sure exactly how bluetooth works; I’ve had lots of problems with compatibility among smart phones, with iOS restricting a lot of things, and getting pairing to work.


Subbie, I love your list! SD card port or some kind of connectivity to other Arduboy’s would be my top two upgrade wants. DumpOnIt, I agree limitation breeds creativity! Also, your group chat idea is genius. I really can’t wait to see everyone’s games on this thing. Maybe if I buckle down and learn to code, I will make a game too lol!

im working on a micro that ticks atleast some of those boxes, but its far from compleetion
simplified os are still hard lol

but most things you are looking for are basicly in smartphones

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Your project sounds interesting! When I made this list, I was thinking what would/could be the Arduboy’s successor’s killer new feature. Rather than a spec bump, and or smaller, lighter and faster. All of this is kinda jumping the gun since the Arduboy’s potential is yet fully realized with current hardware/software.

Actually, you can already buy the GamePack which has some of these features and costs less than $250. :smile:

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That thing is nuts! I think part of Arduboy’s charm is its diminitive size and “simplicity”. The GamePack seems ridiculously complicated, albiet fully featured.

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also a good mention is the gamebuino even though the screen is not as good i have made a cheap expansion bourd for it so it can dual screen with a display like the arduboy
ds module for gamebuino


The Gambuino looks amazing! I signed up for the newsletter also. I will probably purchase a starter kit once I learn a little more about it.

Just a bit more memory and an SD card would be all I’m after, so it can store a few games at once. The memory limitations will be quite good fun coding around but is going to limit anything really interesting being made. The cpu is swifter than a Gameboy, but it’s really crippled by having far less ram and removable storage.

Colour screen would be fun, but I’m quite keen on the low resolution. A 16 colour, low res display would be ideal, but I don’t really know that they’re being made anymore.

If you want to play/make powerful games, a smartphone is a better target. The limitations are part of the fun here, in my opinion.


Agreed with RedToasty, some more RAM so we can have larger programs, for graphics/sound/level data mainly.
And yes an SD card to store multiple programs that can be loaded in one at a time.

Again, agreed with a colour screen being limited. 16 colours is good, as would be a 32 or 64.

The main thing I would add outside of those stated above, is a com port, for two player gaming, and added accessories.


My vote:

  1. (Physically) Larger screen. Should definitely stay monochrome!
  2. More RAM, beefier HW in general
  3. SD card to keep lots of games inside

More RAM and storage (4KB/64KB). That’s the only bottleneck for me. I don’t want a colour screen, I think that ruins the appeal of the Arduboy.

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I bought a bucket load of cool chinese tablets and phones while I was there, I’ll do a video reviewing them all… they give me a big inspiration for what is possible. Wait until you hear how much I paid for them! Hopefully I can visit the factories that makes these and in time learn to make arduboy cheaper!

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this basically for me too!
the mono screen is cool, just more ram and memory, please


Trying to be somber and realistic, but what the heck…

The AT90USB1287 has 128K flash, 4K EEPROM, 8K RAM. That’s a notable bump up. It also supports both USB and USB OTG, meaning that the bootloader could be replaced by memory management that would let you send a game from your AB2 to your friend’s AB2. Some careful work would allow compatibility with existing Arduboy games - but the processor is close enough that a port of an existing code would be pretty simple.

Wireless burns battery, big time. My preference would be for an IR transceiver. If there turns out to be an alternative to WiFi and Bluetooth, I would look again at wireless.

Along with the RGB led, an edge mounted bright white LED might also be nice. It can be a notification, a flashlight, or keep time to music.

Then - keep the form factor outline, but go a bit thicker, and up the battery. In my experience, successful portable devices must have really good battery life. Without that, it spends a good part of its life as a sculpture. I don’t think we can go both rechargeable and replaceable in this form, so a thicker Li-poly would be the goal there.

No SD card - because if you have USB OTG, you can aim to read new games from a USB stick. Or - from an SD card in a USB adapter.


Assuming the name Arduboy is in reference to it being Arduino compatible, I wonder if it may be a good idea to use the Arduino Zero as a base platform (just as the current Arduboy is based on the Leonardo)? Its ATSAMD21G18 processor has 256K flash & 32K RAM. It runs at 3.3V, which makes it easy for powering from a lithium battery.

Since we would be switching to an ARM based system, there may be some issues with porting sketches. It depends on how much the sketches stick to using the Arduboy and Arduino libraries and how easy the Arduboy libraries are to port.