Ryota Kobayashi's NES-Style Controller Switches Its M5Stack ATOM Between USB and Wireless on Demand
Designed for times when wireless alone won't cut it, this 3D-printable controller is ready for anything.
Maker Ryota Kobayashi has designed a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)-style housing for an M5Stack ATOM Matrix development board — offering both wired and wireless control of games, robots, and more.
"What kind of controller do you usually use? There are many for PC and games. And now most of them are wireless," Kobayashi explains. "It's very convenient, but it has its problems. For example, at an exhibition hall, bad reception. This [project] can solve such problems."
Built around an Espressif ESP32-PICO-based M5 ATOM development board with the ATOM TailBat battery add-on, Kobayashi's 3D-printed controller — which borrows the left-hand D-pad and two buttons layout familiar to Nintendo Entertainment System or Sega Master System gamers — offers two ways to connect. In an environment without heavy radio traffic, it can communicate wirelessly via ESP-NOW — meaning no tether between you and the device being controlled.
If the wireless connection can't work reliably, though, just connect a USB cable and the controller switches to USB serial communication — switching back to wireless again only if you pull the plug. "If you own a 3D printer," Kobayashi notes, "[you can] print it yourself."
The design files and source code for the project are available on GitHub under the permissive Apache 2.0 license.