ESPboy: Games, IoT, STEM for education & fun

ESP8266, 80/160Mhz, 4/8Mb, WiFi, LCD 128х128, RGBled, HQspeaker, 8 buttons, 600mAh battery, 30x70х15mm

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ESPboy is an open-source, portable, modular gadget you can build yourself for 12$ in 1 hour to use for retro gaming or as an IoT platform for education and fun.

Try electronics and programming a fun way and get kids interested, try creativity through limitations.

Connect the original ESPboy module to get the fully functional gadget in a minute and understand how they work: LORA messenger, FM radio, MP3 player, weather station, GPS navigator, GSM phone... Or even make your unique one and quick test prototype!

Use Arduino, Micropython, LUA, BASIC, Scratch or other hundreds of available tools to make games and applications.

Connect to the internet with built-in WiFi, upload firmware/apps, communicate with people and web services the same way as on smartphones.

ESPboy is a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics [STEM] learning platform which encourages and enhances creativity, imagination, and ingenuity through project-based learning and reverse engineering.

It's a fantastic experience to assemble the ESPboy yourself or together with your child. Make your own games and apps, share them with the community online. You can make any fully functional gadget in a minute with additional modules, play with it, understand the way of work, modify it and create the unique new one!

It's about fun engineering education and creativity through limitations :)

ESPboy utilizes a powerful ESP8266 microcontroller with built-in WiFi, Arduino IDE compatible with tons of libs and professional firmware and SDKs

Simple schematic (for detailed schematic, ESPboy+casing PCBs and Gerber files please check project page at

Connecting the original modules to the ESPboy's header and updating software through WiFi, you'll get fully functional gadget in a minute (LORA messenger, weather station, GSM phone, FM radio, MP3 player and more)

Create games with "Little game engine", "ESPiCo game engine" or any other framework

Try ARDUBOY retro console emulation with excellent Arduboy2 game creation library ported. It will take just few minutes to recompile any game from Arduboy to ESPboy )

Play retro Chip8/Superchip games. It's an true digital heritage from the 70s with CHIP8/SCHIP emulator. Try new modern games from the OCTO jam.

Have fun with retro ZX Spectrum 48k gamesfrom the 80-90s using zx48 emulator.

Listen the portable FMradio, MP3s or WiFi radio with ESPboy modules

Listen the retro AY38910 chip synth music with DAC module

Write programs or chat in messengers using keyboard module

ESPboy has WiFi onboard to:


  • ESP8266 microcontroller (80/160Mhz 32bit Tensilica Xtensa CPU and 4/16mb RAM) on the WeMos D1 boards MINI or old PRO
  • WiFi connection for multiplayer, communications, online cloud services data transfer, telemetry transmission and “over the air” updates
  • OLED 0,96'' 128х64 bw display or/and 1,44'' TFT 128х128 color display
  • 8 buttons 
  • MCP23017 i2c driven gpio extender with 7+1 free pins on the extension slot
  • MCP4725 i2c DAC to smooth drive TFT's LCD backlit
  • RGB WS2812B Neopixel smartled with data pin on the extension header for connection of any numbers of additional Neopixel LED arrays
  • High-quality transistor driven speaker or simple buzzer
  • 20pin extension slot for sensors and actuators (DC, i2c, UART, SPI, analog A0 gpio, 8 gpios of MCP23017, LEDs line pin)
  • GROVE sensors and NCD.IO sensors support or almost the same but a few times cheaper at
  • 30х70х15mm size overall without casing
  • Battery keeping your ESPboy on the high run for about 8 hours (using sleep mode periodically waking up just to measure and send data, it can run for years without any recharging) and it could be charged through...
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  • 1
    Check the video build instruction
  • 2
    ESPboy Kit and parts

    You can get ESPboy Kit with partially preassembled PCB where is soldered most of small components. 

    Only 3 modules and speaker should be soldered in following order:

    1. speaker (as you can see on black PCB pictures, not buzzer, as at red PCB pictures)

    2. TP4056 battery charging module (don't forget to replace R3 resistor according the following info)

    3. WeMos D1 mini (LOLIN) microcontroller module

    4. LCD display module

    Official ESPboy Kit:

    PCB with most of small components presoldered

    Or you can order the ESPboy PCB or buy it clean and also buy all components separately

  • 3
    ESPboy assembly tools

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morgan wrote 01/14/2020 at 00:21 point

Really love those brass screw button caps, nice touch.

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RomanS wrote 01/14/2020 at 06:37 point


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Jacob MacLeod wrote 10/06/2019 at 11:01 point

This is really cool!

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RomanS wrote 10/10/2019 at 08:19 point


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Jacob MacLeod wrote 01/13/2020 at 09:32 point

When do you think a kit will be available? 

Also, what sort of price do you think of will cost?

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RomanS wrote 01/13/2020 at 15:41 point

I have to finish with formalities to start selling. Hope it will take a couple of months. The price will be about the same as similar projects on the market I suppose... Anyway, there is also the way to DIY ESPboy for the lowest price. All schematic, software, instructions are available free.

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Jacob MacLeod wrote 01/13/2020 at 22:36 point

Right... so if I order the PCB at JLC PCB and use the SMT tool, what components are presoldered, and what components do I need to buy myself(from aliexpress/ebay/Amazon/LCSC)

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RomanS wrote 01/13/2020 at 22:48 point

The components JLC can presolder is the question to JLC i think ) i don't know. Probably the easiest way is to order at JLC just PCB and all other parts separately from aliexpress/ebay/Amazon/LCSC/Mouser Electronics/digikey/etc...

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Jacob MacLeod wrote 01/13/2020 at 22:58 point

Ok... the build guide shows that some parts will be presoldered in the kit. Which parts are these?

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Ken Yap wrote 01/13/2020 at 23:24 point

JLCPCB is a sister company to LCSC so presumably they can presolder anything that LCSC sells. However there are minimum quantities for items ordered from LCSC, but maybe this doesn't apply to presoldered components.

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RomanS wrote 01/14/2020 at 06:23 point

According to my JLCPCB order, they agreed to presolder all small parts, but it costs. Buttons (8), MCP23017, header, all resistors (4), variable resistor, fuze, slide switches, RGB led, MCP4725. So the rest (wemos d1 mini, charging module, LCD, speaker) you have to solder by yourself. But remember that you can assemble a simple breadboard version of ESPboy with just few components and without soldering.

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Jacob MacLeod wrote 01/14/2020 at 10:15 point

Ok... how hard is it to solder small SMT components? Is it very different to larger through-hole components?

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RomanS wrote 01/14/2020 at 10:34 point

it's better to try the SMD soldering to understand ) more experience, easier and faster result. there are a lot of videos about this process at youtube

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Peabody1929 wrote 07/30/2019 at 21:16 point

Is there a kit available?

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RomanS wrote 10/10/2019 at 08:20 point

soon at i hope

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bobricius wrote 04/14/2019 at 17:00 point

Wat you think about much modern ESP32? more gpios, save expander, ble, touch, better power management. Official arduino support, mp3 playback, 2x analog out???

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RomanS wrote 10/10/2019 at 08:22 point

Too much devices are aleready on the market with ESP32 theese days )

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