Most people are familiar with the 74HC595 as a chainable serial-to-parallel converter, letting you add tons of outputs to a microcontroller with ease. The ‘165 does the opposite, it is a chainable parallel-to-serial converter, so you can add tons of *inputs*. Great when you have a ton of keys or buttons you want to interface to a microcontroller, just don’t forget to use external pullups!
Make a robot friend with Adafruit’s CRICKIT – A Creative Robotics & Interactive Construction Kit. It’s an add-on to our popular Circuit Playground Express, FEATHER and other platforms to make and program robots with CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. Start controlling motors, servos, solenoids. You also get signal pins, capacitive touch sensors, a NeoPixel driver and amplified speaker output. It complements & extends your boards so you can still use all the goodies on the microcontroller, now you have a robotics playground as well.