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Control robots and play retro games with one handy device

iNap Malinka remote/ retro gaming console
(Image credit: Reddit - Leoneq)
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Reddit user, Leoneq wanted to build a wireless remote for controlling his robotic headcrab (been there, buddy). So, he made the iNap Malinka (opens in new tab). A handheld radio controller that also works well as a handheld retro gaming console.

The Malinka uses a Raspberry Pi-based NRF24L01 transmitter which can be used to control all sorts of radio-controlled doohickies. It has an LCD touchscreen, an HDMI port, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, a headphone jack, and, more importantly, Nintendo Switch-styled gamepad controls and joysticks.

Leoneq points out that you can easily install RetroPie (opens in new tab) or Lakka (opens in new tab) turning the Malinka into a cell-phone sized retro gaming device. Yeah, it's no Nintendo Switch, but the size (only six inches wide and a half-inch thick) is excellent for someone looking for something significantly smaller than a Steam Deck (opens in new tab) to play classic console games through emulation.

Leoneq put together a handy little Wiki on Github (opens in new tab) to get you up and running if you want to build one yourself. The shell and buttons are 3D printed, though the joysticks are borrowed from replacement Nintendo Switch parts. Assembly doesn't seem overly complicated, but it looks like you should take extra care when getting to the soldering and screen mounting portions of the project. 

There's even a version you can 3D print that doesn't have an antenna hole in case you're just looking to build a cute retro gaming handheld instead of a robot and toy car remote. 

Thanks, Tom's Hardware (opens in new tab).

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Jorge Jimenez
Hardware writer, Human Pop-Tart

Jorge is a hardware writer from the enchanted lands of New Jersey. When he's not filling the office with the smell of Pop-Tarts, he's reviewing all sorts of gaming hardware from laptops with the latest mobile GPUs to gaming chairs with built-in back massagers. He's been covering games and tech for nearly ten years and has written for Dualshockers, WCCFtech, and Tom's Guide.