Introducing the “Arduflexboy”

Alasdair Allan
2 min readApr 11, 2019

The Arduboy is a fantastic 8-bit game handheld video game platform built around a Microchip ATmega32U4 micro-controller. It’s open source, and there is a bunch of documentation that will help you build your own games. Since it crowdfunded itself into the retro-gaming scene back in 2015, it has become a staple of the community — and we’ve seen some impressive hacks.

But this one might beat them all, Kevin Bates has just built a flexible version.

A flexible Arduboy, the “Arduflexboy.” (📷: Kevin Bates)

While flexible PCBs have been around for a while, it’s only in the last few months that they’ve become readily available to the maker community with OSH Park introducing them as an option at the tail end of last year.

The Arduflexboy. (📷: Kevin Bates)

Bates made use of the OSH Park new flex service, and hiding all the Arduboy components behind the LCD screen, produced a flexible version that’s paper thin. Even the ‘bump’ of the screen is still only 2.5mm thick.

Like the original Arduboy prototype the buttons on the flexible version are capacitance touch and somewhat flaky although Bates allows that “…they could be fixed in software a bit.”

The Arduflexboy face down showing the CR2016 battery. (📷: Kevin Bates)

The flexible gaming platform is powered by a single CR2016 battery, which as Bates says “…baaarely has enough juice to run this puppy evidenced by the dim screen.”

Showing the Arduflexboy in action. (📹: Kevin Bates)

You can pick up a regular Arduboy on Adafruit for $49.95 plus shipping. Or if you’ve now got your heart set on a flexible version you might want to grab the Arduboy design files for reference, take a look at OSH Park’s new flexible PCB price list, and follow along on the Arduflexboy community thread. Bates has promised that the design files coming “…soon, which is before eventually.”

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