This Raspberry Pi RP2040-based keyboard is open-source and designed for serious modularity

Raspberry Pi
(Image credit: KittenBot)

KittenBot has released a new modular keyboard called the AgileWhisker. At the heart of this feline-themed keyboard is one of our favorite microprocessors, the Raspberry Pi RP2040. It's designed so that you can easily attach modules to create a totally customized peripheral device. AgileWhisker is also completely open source, making it free to modify as much as you want.

This keyboard is suitable for both newcomers like students as well as experienced enthusiasts looking for a fun keypad to tinker with. The input for all of the buttons as well as the external peripherals are programmable using JavaScript. This combination makes it possible to create niche input devices suited for professional environments like 3D and CAD-based applications or casual use cases like gaming.

The modules connect using Jacdac connectors—an open-source connection protocol designed specifically for microelectronics by Microsoft. Adding something like an additional potentiometer or a slider is as easy as plugging it in. Modules can be daisy-chained out to attach multiple devices at once.

According to Kittenbot, the keyboard uses firmware that should be fairly stable on its own for a while but occasionally there will be significant changes that warrant an update. This can be done by connecting the keyboard to your computer and holding the "boot" button. After a few seconds, the keyboard will be visible to the computer as a USB drive where you can drop the latest UF2 file.

The keyboard can be customized using TypeScript to do things like assign key functions and set up custom macros. The source code for the project is available over at GitHub for anyone who wants to take a closer look at how it works. You can also read more about AgileWhisker over at the official KittenBot website. If you found this creation interesting, you should check out our list of best Raspberry Pi projects to see what else the maker community has been up to as of late.

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.