It's a shield for the popular D1 Mini development board, that adds to it eight small buttons, arranged in a familiar layout known from handheld consoles and game pads. It comes with a chip that handles the buttons and communicates over I²C, so no extra pins are used. The shield is very flat, designed to be attached underneath a display shield of some sort, so that it doesn't add too much to the height of the whole (the display is not included).
I needed a way to control the robots I'm building, and I also wanted to play a little with writing simple games for the ESP8266. It could also be suitable for controlling home automation systems, all sorts of appliances, etc. — anywhere you need any sort of menu or cursor.
This is the second version of the shield. The first one was huge, clunky, with a tiny little uncomfortable joystick and a huge chip in the middle. This is an improved version — it's smaller, thinner, uses fewer components, uses more convenient buttons (though they are still very small and not ideal) and attaches under another shield, as to not add to the height of the whole device too much. The interface still remains very simple — just read a single byte over I²C from address 32 (or 56), and the bits that are set to 0 correspond to the pressed buttons. You can also short a jumper to make it send an interrupt signal every time something changes — useful when you really don't want to miss any key press.
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A hobbyist, playing with electronics and MicroPython.