ThingPulse's Pendrive S3 Is an Espressif ESP32-S3-Powered Multi-Function USB Stick

Driven by a CircuitPython firmware, the Pendrive S3 can be a Wi-Fi-accessible disk, network dongle, or even a keystroke injector.

Daniel Eichhorn and Marcel Stör's ThingPulse has launched a new Espressif ESP32-S3-based development board designed in a USB Type-C pen-drive form factor: the Pendrive S3, which includes a capacitive touch button implemented as a coiled metal spring.

"The ThingPulse Pendrive S3 is an [Espressif] ESP32-S3 device with USB [Type]-C plug, WS2812B RGB LED, and 128MB of flash," ThingPulse explains of its latest development board design. "With the help of TinyUSB the ESP32-S3 can pretend to be many USB devices, such as: USB memory stick; USB keyboard; USB mouse; audio device; video device; networking device."

ThingPulse has launched a new Espressif ESP32-based development board, in a pen-drive form factor: the Pendrive S3. (📹: ThingPulse)

As the company's list of possible use-cases implies you're not going to find much in the way of general-purpose input/output (GPIO) pins in the Pendrive S3, brought to our attention by Linux Gizmos. Instead, ThingPulse envisions the board being plugged into the USB Type-C port of smartphones, tablets, and PCs for everything from automation to "badUSB" keystroke injections.

The module's integrated Wi-Fi connectivity also features, with the CircuitPython firmware able to configure the device as a network-accessible storage device — though, with only 128MB of flash, it will rapidly fill if used for general-purpose storage. The same radio can also be exposed to a host system as a Wi-Fi dongle, the company confirms.

The board lacks GPIO connectivity, but can be used for a range of USB and Wi-Fi tasks. (📹: ThingPulse)

This isn't ThingPulse's first hardware launch of the year. Back in March the company unveiled the ePulse Feather C6, a Feather-format development board based around an Espressif ESP32-C6 module and featuring an ultra-low-power 18µA sleep mode.

The Pendrive S3 is available to order on the ThingPulse website at $24.90; Linux Gizmos has negotiated a $5 discount with code "pendrive-s3-linuxgismos" [sic].

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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