The Arduino Leonardo is the first board in the Arduino range designed to utilize a single microcontroller with built-in USB. By only utilizing the single ATmega32U4 microcontroller, this board has been designed with fewer parts, making it a more affordable and accessible product. Additionally, the USB is natively handled by the ATmega32U4 chip directly, which allows users to emulate plug-n-play devices like keyboards or mice through the USB-HID protocol. This is one of the key differences of the Leonardo, and provides users with a whole new level of functionality.
The native USB integration opens up many opportunities for hobbyists and professionals alike, as many fantastic resources are already available for free download, including the IDE software, as well as various code libraries. These resources allow users to develop standalone interactive objects and devices, or to connect the boards up to computer software like Flash or MaxMSP.
The Arduino Leonardo board features a 16 MHz crystal oscillator, a micro USB connector, an ISCP header, a power jack and a manual reset button – everything it needs to support the microcontroller. All you have to do is connect it to a power source and your computer’s USB drive, and you will be ready to get started on a new and exciting project.
|Operating Voltage (logic Level)||– 5V|
|Input Voltage (recommended)||– 7-12V|
|Input Voltage (limits)||– 6-20V|
|Digital I/O Pins||– 20|
|PWM Channels||– 7|
|Analog Input Channels||– 12|
|DC Current per I/O Pin||– 40 mA|
|DC Current for 3.3V Pin||– 50 mA|
|Flash Memory||– 32 KB of which 4 KB is reserved by bootloader|
|SRAM||– 2.5 KB|
|EEPROM||– 1 KB|
|Clock Speed||– 16 MHz|
|Dimensions||– 2.7” x 2.09” / 68.6mm x 53.3mm|
|Weight||– 20 g|
The core focus of the Leonardo model is based on the integrated native USB management, which allows it to operate like a keyboard, mouse or other peripheral. It utilizes a simple plug-n-play style connection via mini USB to open up more opportunities for interacting with systems in unique ways.
Some of the most common ways in which this has been done include:
Some hobbyists and professionals have also taken the unique functionality of these boards to a whole new level, and have produced amazing projects like:
Despite the magnitude of projects that people are working on, however, there are still even more possibilities available when utilizing an Arduino Leonardo board. So, whether you are a beginner tinkerer or veteran inventor, consider how you could use the Leonardo to create something new, something that you’ve always needed, or just something you’ve always kind of wanted to have.
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