Arduino USB host shield


Circuits@Home has been journaling their development of a USB host mode shield for Arduino, which could bring the platform a veritable explosion of mass storage, keyboard input and countless other peripheral options (and a corresponding raft of new hacks). Currently at the prototype stage, a ready-made shield and library are forthcoming, so keep checking back. Meanwhile, for embedded developers wanting to learn the ropes of USB, the in-progress articles will likely provide some valuable insights.

[thanks Kersny]


  1. furst says:

    trolling the hackaday leets with an arduino article? must be a slow friday.

  2. Matt says:

    What, arduinos are “too easy” for hack-a-day regulars? I don’t think you understand this site.

    This is a fantastic looking project, I’m glad to hear about it.

  3. furst says:


    you must be new here.

  4. addictronics says:

    please go away.

  5. Everett says:

    USB bus pirate. That’s what I see here. I can take data moving through the USB bus and analyze it. I’m quite excited because I’d love a bus pirate (was too late to order one) for a USB project. I’d love to capture data between my computer and a VX-8R so that I can create my own apps to transfer data. Maybe even make it a dual band digipeater….

  6. MrX says:


    Ok, maybe you are too good for using arduino, or maybe not.

    People use the arduino environment because they don’t need to care with lower level stuff. Likewise people develop on Visual Studio and use high level languages (like .NET) because they don’t need to care or don’t know lower level stuff.
    Just don’t tell me you do your regular programming with IDEs like Visual Studio because *THAT* will make you look like a real asshole.

    And yes, I do all my programming in vim. I don’t use overkill IDEs. I have an arduino diecimilia and I don’t use the arduino environment. does that make me a l33t freak? no, just happy to use whatever the tools I’m more comfortable and happy with.

    go away lamer

  7. Ash says:


    I like the look of this, would i be right in thinking this can be used to attach usb devices to an arduino? Maybe even bluetooth/wifi adapters?

    Cheers & good work

  8. Phil Burgess says:

    @ash: precisely, though available program memory may prove to be a constraint. My hunch at this point is that standard Arduinos might be limited mostly (but not entirely) to HID devices, while the Mega will have considerably more breadth. But this is entirely speculation on my part.

  9. furst says:

    i think its great. its more of a comment directed at the many others who frequent HaD and deride arduino users.

    Sorry if it was misinterpreted. It was not meant to be a derogatory comment towards the person’s work!

    I’ll leave that to the others.

  10. pt says:

    this is a great find and i’m thrilled to see the author of the post is in the comments posting too – nice work phil!

  11. Ash says:

    Cheers for the reply Phil, now where can i buy one =)

    Despite the all too common anti arduino comments, great things are happening around it and people like Phil are kind enough to support it

    Thanks again

  12. Reggie says:

    The arduino should be celebrated, just as PIC has been, they allow for a lot of experimentation with electronics and sensors at a relatively low cost for a dev board.

    As long as it does what the user intended then its a valid hack in my book, arduino or not.

  13. spacecoyote says:

    i’ve always wondered why they call it a shield rather than a daughterboard or something.

  14. Phil Burgess says:

    @ash: There’s a “store” link in the left column on the Circuits@Home site. When the shield is ready to roll I’d expect it to pop up there.

    @spacecoyote: I suspect for the same reason they call it a “sketch” instead of a “program.” Less jargon in an effort to make the technology more approachable to the layperson.

  15. draeath says:

    phil – you mean more jargon in an effort to make it more user-friendly? I don’t agree with coining new terms when we already have words that everyone else agrees on.

  16. Oleg Mazurov says:

    The shield is released and is available in the store. There is also a code example demonstrating how to poll USB keyboard. Enjoy!

  17. Nick says:

    Really, I don’t get why every single post on HAD must be spammed with Anti-Arduino comments. Its really ridiculous.

  18. Visual Micro says:

    I like arduino and I like visual studio that’s why I created a free visual studio addin for arduino called “visual micro”.

    When you see the visual studio “intellisense” and “goto definition” stuff working with the arduino (and your) code you realize how much easier life can be.

    Especially for us mere mortals with brains that can’t remember (don’t want to remember) all of our code functions!

    Total compatibility with the arduino ide but using visual studio.

    Best of both worlds.

    If the point is to program as quickly as possible, yet have a life at the same time, then Visual Micro, Arduino and Visual Studio can’t be beat!

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