This Raspberry Pi Pico Macropad is a Mouse Controlled by Buttons

Raspberry Pi
(Image credit: Joe Scotto)

The Raspberry Pi Pico is a useful microcontroller and it’s not uncommon to see it used in more simple projects that don’t warrant a full-sized Raspberry Pi. In this case, it’s more than capable of handling Joe Scotto’s latest macropad project—a Pico-powered macropad mouse that uses buttons to move the cursor.

The macropad has a total of 6 keys that use mechanical switches. Each key corresponds with a mouse function. The input is handled using the QMK firmware, commonly used for custom keyboards and mice. QMK firmware handles multiple button presses, making combo shortcuts a possibility and is capable of navigating in 8 different directions.

Your most basic directions, up, down, left and right, are handled by the 4 buttons on the right-hand side. The two buttons on the left are reserved for left and right clicks. Pressing both at the same time will initiate a middle click. To scroll with the mouse, hold down the left and right buttons while pressing one of the directional keys to choose the direction you would like to scroll.

Scotto is using a Raspberry Pi Pico to drive the board but you could recreate it using something smaller and less powerful. That said, it’s hard to pass up on the $4 microcontroller as it's easy to come by and there’s plenty of community support for it around the internet. The keys use Cherry MX Brown switches and are housed inside of custom 3D-printed housing.

Scotto has a history of making tons of custom keyboards and macropads. Like most of his other creations, this one is totally open source so anyone can build it for themself or modify it to suit their needs. You can find a complete list of firmware for his various keyboard projects over at his official GitHub page. As of writing, the firmware for this particular macropad has yet to be released but is planned to be shared soon along with a video demo of it in action.

Anyone who wants to recreate this Raspberry Pi project or just get a closer look at how it goes together can find more details over at his official website, ScottoKeebs. Be sure to follow Scotto for more cool projects as well as any future updates on this one.

Ash Hill
Freelance News and Features Writer

Ash Hill is a Freelance News and Features Writer with a wealth of experience in the hobby electronics, 3D printing and PCs. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting while also finding the best coupons and deals on all tech.