Inventor HAT Mini review

By Phil King. Posted

If you are looking for a HAT for all occasions, the Inventor HAT Mini (From £24 / $25) could be it. This mini add-on board for Raspberry Pi computers is packed with features and could prove useful in a wide variety of projects.

Robotics is an obvious use case thanks to the HAT’s two motor ports and four three-pin servo headers. Note that the motor ports are the six-pin type used for Pimoroni’s encoder-equipped motors, but there’s also a header underneath to connect jumper wires to standard motors.

Four extra GPIO channels, each with a three-pin header, are ADC capable, so can be used as analogue inputs for sensors etc. Best of all, the board’s Nuvoton microcontroller handles all I/O, so the board only uses a handful of GPIO pins on Raspberry Pi – and it has a pass-through header so you could stack another board on top by using a stacking header.

Light and sound

Each set of header pins even has its own RGB NeoPixel, while the motor ports have direction LEDs. There’s also a user button and other connections include a single Qwiic/STEMMA QT for breakouts, external power and UART serial headers (both unpopulated), and an audio port (two-pin Picoblade) to connect a mini speaker.

Pimoroni’s comprehensive Python library makes programming the board easy, and a bunch of code examples help you get started. We can see this board being used with a Raspberry Pi Zero for fun mini robots, but it’s versatile enough for many other electronics projects.



Packing an impressive array of features into a small footprint, this versatile board is ideal for mini robots and a lot more.


Inputs/Outputs: 4 × GPIO/ADC headers, 4 × servo headers, 2 × JST-SH  (6-pin) motor ports, 2 × regular motor outputs, 1 × Qwiic/STEMMA QT port, audio output, external power input, UART header

Features: Nuvoton microcontroller, 8 × WS2812B RGB LEDs, User button, DRV8833 dual H-bridge motor driver, motor direction LEDs, pass-through header

Dimensions: 65 × 30.5 × 15.5 mm

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