Archive for the ‘game controllers’ Category

Happenings in Toronto

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Just got back from Toronto, where I attended events at Toronto Digifest and TIFF Nexus.  I was very impressed with all the interesting work happening there. I gave a presentation at DigiFest on Arduino, Physical Computing and Mass Participation (PDF, 25.9MB). At TIFF Nexus I was a commentator on the Peripherals Initiative along with Steve Daniels, John Bouchard, and Emilie McGinley.
On Thursday  Kate Hartman took me to visit her Social Body lab at OCAD University. After that, we went to visit Lawrence at Creatron, a local retailer of electronics parts for hobbyists.  I am envious of the electronics hackers in Toronto because of that store!  Lawrence carries all the stuff I and my students buy online all the time: microcontrollers, modules from online retailers like Adafruit and Spark Fun and individual components like resistors, LEDs, and much more.  He told me he works directly with his friends and colleagues in Hong Kong to import parts directly, so as to cut out the middleman and keep prices low. I tried to talk him into opening a store in New York City as well. We need you in NYC, Lawrence!
The Digifest talk was a great experience, thanks to organizers Luigi Ferrara, Nick Crampton, Samantha Fraser and the rest of the Digifest TO team. Thanks also to Maria Grazia Mattei and Giulia Capodieci of Meet the Media Guru for inviting and hosting me as well.Thanks to all the folks in the audience who asked really great questions as well.
On Friday Steve, John, and Ramona Pringle gave me a tour of Ryerson’s Digital Media facilities. Ryerson’s just finishing off the renovation of their Image Arts gallery, which looks like it’ll be a good space for showcasing student and faculty work. The building has a skin of LED panels, all of which are software-controllable, and John and his colleagues have been writing driver software for it.  I look forward to seeing images from it when it’s lit up, and seeing what students do with it when they get their hands on it. We also took a tour of Ryerson’s Digital Media Zone business incubator, and had a great chat with Jason Nolan about the work EDGElab is doing in assistive design. He showed me an Arduino-based keyboard emulator designed by Vlad Cazan that was built to help a young girl with 1P36 deletion syndrome to communicate.

Keyboard emulator by Vlad Cazan and EDGELab

The TIFF Nexus peripherals event featured five hardware and software game hacks developed by teams who signed up for the event. Sadly, I only got to play two of them before I had to leave.  Button Masher (again featuring Vlad  and Alex Bethke of Golden Gear Games) is made up of two panels of hexagons of large light-up buttons, a sort of 21st century wack-a-mole, but with a variety of different games you can play on it, from snake trap to an Othello-like board game. Analog Defender, by Alexander Martin and Patrick Dinnen is a space game in the style of Space Invaders, but with a control panel made of great chunky industrial control knobs and buttons. The interface is pretty complicated but unlabled, and the developers encouraged players to label the controls with post-it notes as a form of social labeling. I loved the way you end up collaborating with people who played before you as a result.
It was a great trip, and it was wonderful to see so many folks using Arduino in really creative ways in Toronto.

Analog Defender


TinkerKit! Gyroscope Now Available

Monday, October 10th, 2011

New fellows in the TinkerKit!  family: [T000060] and [T000062] are two versions of the same gyroscope module (1x / 4x sensitivity) based on the LPR5150AL from ST Microelectronics. We are sharing example codes and a visual UI in Processing (hosted on Scuola)

Control a Slot Car Race With Your Mind

Friday, October 7th, 2011

[Riccardo Giraldi] posted a nice project controlling a slot car race from a Mindwave headset (=> your brain waves).

From B-Reel’s secret laboratory comes a brain-bending experimental project utilising a number of cutting edge tech tools. B-Reel’s UK creative director Riccardo Giraldi led the development of the project, and you can view the explanatory video here, as well as some of the creative musings in a write up below. [...] There are few commercial devices that claim to safely read your brain signals. We ended up choosing the Mindwave headset from Neurosky for this experiment because of its unobtrusive design and its affordable price.

via [TheNextWeb] source [B-Reel]

Gameboy ROM backups using an Arduino

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

[Alex] collects retro gaming consoles. One day while playing a SNES title, his save games got wiped when he powered off the system. It turned out that the battery inside the game cartridge got disconnected somehow, and it got him thinking. He decided he wanted to find a way to back up his save games from the cartridges for safe keeping.

While cart readers exist, he says that they are hard to find nowadays, so he decided to construct his own using an Arduino. SNES cartridges are relatively complex, so he opted to focus on Gameboy cartridges for the time being. Before attempting to back up save games, he first chose to learn how to communicate with the cartridges in general, by reading the ROM.

via [HackADay]

Kinect Controlled Delta-Robot

Monday, March 7th, 2011

Everybody’s amazed about the incredible things done with Kinect and Processing + Arduino. Tutorial need!

This is a project in development for the module “Digital Ecologies”, at the Bartlett’s Adaptive Architecture and Computation MSc. – University College London

A Delta-Robot is controlled by a Kinect through Processing and Arduino. The movements of the performer control directly the position of the robot’s effector, and the rotation and opening of the gripper.
Once the plattform is properly calibrated (still a little rough round the edges!), several autonomous behaviours will be implemented.

have a look at [resources]via [KinectHacks]

Gameduino Brings Vintage Gaming Back

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

If Kickstarter is nowadays best place to find new (or upcoming) toys to dream about, Gameduino is probably one of the most amazing pieces of hardware I’ve seen hosted there. The shield mounts its own FPGA able of 80ies style graphics and sounds for creating old-school, 8-bit video-games, pre-loaded with numerous sprites and set up for easy connection to a VGA display.

Gameduino is a game adapter for Arduino – or anything else with an SPI interface – built as a single shield that stacks up on top of the Arduino and has plugs for a VGA monitor and stereo speakers.

The sound and graphics are definitely old-school, but thanks to the latest FPGA technology, the sprite capabilities are a step above those in machines from the past.

  • video output is 400×300 pixels in 512 colors
  • all color processed internally at 15-bit precision
  • compatible with any standard VGA monitor (800×600 @ 72Hz)
  • background graphics
    • 512×512 pixel character background
    • 256 characters, each with independent 4 color palette
    • pixel-smooth X-Y wraparound scroll
  • foreground graphics
    • each sprite is 16×16 pixels with per-pixel transparency
    • each sprite can use 256, 16 or 4 colors
    • four-way rotate and flip
    • 96 sprites per scan-line, 1536 texels per line
    • pixel-perfect sprite collision detection
  • audio output is a stereo 12-bit frequency synthesizer
  • 16 independent voices 10-4000 Hz
  • per-voice sine wave or white noise

Have a look at the nice reference poster, its detailed hardware reference or its set of sample programs and library.

support this project on [Kickstarter], via [CrunchGear] [BoingBoing] source [ExCamera]

FireHero To Warm You Up In Winter

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Some time ago [Chris] was daydreaming in class about who knows what [...]

Then I thought of the game Guitar Hero, which uses five frets, and I had my idea! Simply interface a Guitar Hero controller to a microcontroller that would power some relays which would in turn fire off solenoid valves on five individual fire poofers! Now this could be cool; a large fire “sculpture” that is playable by anybody. Read on to see how I turned this idea into reality in a week’s time!

He managed to interface GuitarHero to arduino reading this article from Bill Porter’s website. The idea of controlling fire was inspired by this project on Mikey Sklar’s website.

via [FireHero]

Nunchuck Controlled 3D Cube On TV

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

[Paul]  took the TVout library, the Wiichuck library and wrote it’s own 3D library. In this way he’s got a nunchuck controlled 3D shape on TV

Movement in the nunchuck is detected by the arduino, then the cube is redrawn according to new angle of the controller. 3d wireframe library header and source. Code to tie everything together

via [Paulsarduino]

Arduino Uno as JoystickArduino Uno as JoystickArduino Uno as Joystick

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

Arduino Forum User [ant.b] has shared his personal Arduino UNO hack with other LUFA firmwares. He tries to turn an Arduino UNO in a Joystick, uploading a new firmware on the 8u2, and summarize it in a very useful step by step guide.


Arduino Uno as JoystickArduino Uno as JoystickArduino Uno as Joystick

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

Arduino Forum User [ant.b] has shared his personal Arduino UNO hack with other LUFA firmwares. He tries to turn an Arduino UNO in a Joystick, uploading a new firmware on the 8u2, and summarize it in a very useful step by step guide.