Expand description

Platform-agnostic driver for keypad matrix circuits

This driver lets you read the state of any key in a keypad matrix as if it was connected to a single input pin. It supports keypads of any size, and any embedded platform that implements the Rust embedded-hal traits.


The simplest way to read keypresses with a microcontroller is to connect each key to one input pin. However, that won’t work if you have more keys than available pins. One solution is to use a keypad matrix circuit that lets you read from N*M keys using only N+M pins.


In this circuit, each row is an input pin with a pullup resistor, and each column is an open-drain output pin. You read the state of a particular key by driving its column pin low and reading its row pin.

A downside of this approach is that it increases code complexity. Instead of reading a single input pin to check if a key is pressed, you need to actively scan the matrix by driving a column low, reading a row, and setting the column high/floating again.

The purpose of this driver is to use the embedded-hal traits to hide that complexity. It does this by giving you a set of virtual KeyInput pins, each of which represent one key in your keypad matrix. Because they implement the InputPin trait, you can treat each one like a single input pin, without worrying about the matrix-scanning that happens under the hood.

This approach was inspired by the shift-register-driver crate, which uses virtual output pins to control a shift register.


  • Reading the key state is not reentrant.

  • This is not optimized for scanning through the entire keypad as quickly as possible. That’s a tradeoff that comes from treating each key as an independent input.


This example uses mock types that implement the embeddded-hal traits without using any real hardware. It will compile and run on your host computer, but it won’t do anything interesting because there are no real buttons to press.

For an example that runs on an actual microcontroller, see keypad-bluepill-example.

extern crate keypad;

use core::convert::Infallible;
use keypad::embedded_hal::digital::v2::InputPin;
use keypad::mock_hal::{self, GpioExt, Input, OpenDrain, Output, PullUp, GPIOA};

// Define the struct that represents your keypad matrix circuit,
// picking the row and column pin numbers.
    pub struct ExampleKeypad<Error = Infallible>{
        rows: (
        columns: (

fn main() {
    let pins = GPIOA::split();

    // Create an instance of the keypad struct you defined above.
    let keypad = keypad_new!(ExampleKeypad {
        rows: (
        columns: (

    // Create a 2d array of virtual `KeypadInput` pins, each
    // representing 1 key in the matrix. They implement the
    // `InputPin` trait and can be used like other embedded-hal
    // input pins.
    let keys = keypad.decompose();

    let first_key = &keys[0][0];
    println!("Is first key pressed? {}\n", first_key.is_low().unwrap());

    // Print a table showing whether each key is pressed.

    for (row_index, row) in keys.iter().enumerate() {
        print!("row {}: ", row_index);
        for key in row.iter() {
            let is_pressed = if key.is_low().unwrap() { 1 } else { 0 };
            print!(" {} ", is_pressed);

    // Give up ownership of the row and column pins.
    let ((_r0, _r1, _r2, _r3), (_c0, _c1, _c2, _c3, _c4)) = keypad.release();


pub extern crate embedded_hal;


An example of a struct generated by the keypad_struct!() macro.
Mock types that implement the embeddded-hal traits without using any real hardware.


Create an instance of the struct you defined with the keypad_struct!() macro..
Define a new struct representing your keypad matrix circuit.


A virtual embedded-hal input pin representing one key of the keypad.