Piksey Atto: An incredibly tiny, Arduino compatible board with USB!

Piksey Atto: An incredibly tiny, Arduino compatible board with USB!

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This cost-effective, yet tiny USB dev. board is designed for makers. It can be soldered onto PCBs, used with a breadboard or by itself.

The author recently started creating DIY projects on their YouTube channel and they ran into a similar issue, time and again. Most of the sensors and modules that they commonly use are already very small in size but the Arduino compatible boards used to drive them were not so much. There are some development boards that are small in size but they all seem to have one issue or the other – either they do not have enough I/O pins, are not powerful enough or lack native USB support which limits the overall capabilities.

They designed Piksey Atto to take care of all these issues while also making it cheap enough to leave in projects. The board uses the ATmega32U4 microcontroller which is the same chip used in the Arduino Leonardo and Arduino Micro. This means that it is compatible with all existing sketches and works out of the box without having to install any board support packages. The Atto is smaller than a £1 coin and has everything you need to use it in your projects, including native USB support which allows you to use it to interact with your computer and much more!

The Atto has castellation holes which allow it to be used with proto-boards, PCBs and even breadboards (by first soldering header pins to it). This allows you to easily (and elegantly) add a microcontroller to prototypes or even finished projects. Check out the demo section below to see how we have used Atto with PCBs. Its small size has allowed us to create a nice little RGB LED coaster.

The Atto was designed with makers in mind and here are some of the specs worth noting:

  • Core: ATmega32U4 microcontroller running at 16MHz
  • Memory: 32KB Flash, 2.5KB SRAM, 1KB EEPROM
  • Digital I/O: 11
  • Analog Input: 4
  • PWM Channels: 4 (+ more with software)
  • Communication: USART/SPI/I2C (TWI)
  • Operating Voltage: 5V
  • Dimensions:  0.5″x0.8″ (12.70mmx20.32mm)
  • Weight: 1.3g (0.04oz)
  • Software: Works out of the box with the Arduino IDE 1.0+ (Win/OSX/Linux)

The project is live on Kickstarter with a 7,000 GBP goal, or about $9100 US. Rewards are scheduled to ship in June 2020.

Mike is the founder and editor of Electronics-Lab.com, an electronics engineering community/news and project sharing platform. He studied Electronics and Physics and enjoys everything that has moving electrons and fun. His interests lying on solar cells, microcontrollers and switchmode power supplies. Feel free to reach him for feedback, random tips or just to say hello :-)

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