It’s FIFA World Cup time and we have a project for makers who prefer to be active instead of only watching the others play. The exciting penalty shoot-out we’ve always enjoyed in video games was implemented by Germán Carrillo as an electro-mechanical game where you save goals using a control device and kick the ball with your fingers:
How to enhance performance in gaming from an engineering point of view? dekuNukem created a hands-free finder built using Arduino Micro to accomplish the task of chaining fishes at full speed and without fail at a touch of a button:
The fishing keeps going without human input until a shiny shows up, at which point it stops and sound a buzzer to notify the user.
It took 81 chains to catch a shiny in this case, but during my other tests it’s usually around 50, and sometimes even less than 20 chains get you one.
Here’s a new piece of hardware from your beloved OSHW project. The Arduino Esplora is meant for newbies and anybody willing to enter in the world of Arduino, without having to deal with breadboards or soldering. Shaped like a game controller, it’s designed to be used out of the box without extra parts since it comes with many sensors and actuators already on it.
2012 is not only the year of the Olympics, but also the launch of the first ever ‘Digilympics’, a twitter-powered race for sporting success where you determine the outcome. Four Lego athletes move down a physical racetrack as fans Tweet their team to move them further towards the finish line.
Starting today (07/18/2012), the Digilympics will be a two-week event as the four teams – UK, US, Canada and Japan – compete for the prestigious Digilympics Gold Medal.
The competition is open to anyone on the web, allowing them to Tweet their team to success using one of four unique Twitter accounts (UK_Digi, US_Digi, CA_Digi &JP_Digi). Tweets in support of a particular account will move that country’s contestant physically along a running track.
After each race, the team victories are recorded and contestants go back to the starting line. At the end of the week the team who has won the most races will be given the Gold Medal online at digilympics.com
Under the hood, this funny race is enabled by a Processing sketch that seeks for Twitter replies on each account: a new reply triggers a motor-shield equipped Arduino board, which provides the movement to each athlet.
More information can be found here. And… let’s start twitting for your favourite team! ^^
Emmo is a ludic and interactive artifact for visually impaired children (age 4-6 y.) based on RFID technology. It is meant to motivate spatial exploration and helping children to develop the capability of creating mental topological maps. The toy includes lighting and sounding elements for a treasure hunt, a space-related memory game. This activity is improving attention and acoustic capabilities. The goal of the game is detecting each of the seven lighting elements according to the sound. The player is helped by this “magic wand” (finder),
Emmo’s main colours are black and white (high chromatic contrast is important to let the childern discrminate colours); lights & sound are further aid, marking different phases of the game. The command interface is pretty simple and visible. Buttons can be distinguished by colour and shape. The toy elements are designed in order meet childern needs and technology requirements.
There are people who use the Arduino for some serious electronics related stuff.
Then, there are folks who use it just for fun. Alan Chatham and his team over at UnoJoy have developed a concept for Arduino Uno based USB Controllers.
Here is an excerpt of our interview with Alan:
Me: What made you choose the Arduino Uno as the heart of the controller? There are many development boards available which incorporate an ATmega8U2/16U2 or even 32U2.
Alan: This is easy – everyone loves Arduino! It comes down to ease of use and reach. Our primary goal with this project is to make a tool that is both easy to use and accessible. There’s lots of code out there to make joysticks with other chips, but all the Atmel USB chips are surface-mount, and they all need a whole big toolchain to use. Plus, USB is super-complicated, and we want to encourage people, even non-technical ones, to spend their time thinking up really sweet new ways to play games, not trying to figure out what an HID descriptor is for. On the reach side of things, Arduino is a perfect platform – even those of us that love our inline assembly and fuse settings tend to have an Arduino around for quick prototyping, and of course, Arduino’s a great platform for students and designers.
Me: Any problems that you faced while developing the prototype?
Alan: I think the biggest challenge we faced was to make it much easier for non-experts to do some more complicated things, like re-flash the ATmega8u2 on the Arduino. Let’s face it, any instructions that open up with ‘First, install XCode’ aren’t exactly user-friendly. In that vein, I put together some simple one-click batch files for installing the appropriate drivers on Windows and OSX, as well as ones for reflashing the ATmega8u2 chip between Arduino and UnoJoy firmwares. It’s still not as simple as I’d like, so if anyone out there is handy with basic OSX GUI application programming, or the program installation chain on Windows, drop me a line!
In the end, we’re hoping that our code and examples can inspire other designers and builders and gamers to make some really awesome controllers. If they do, I of course encourage them to send their pictures and videos our way, at unojoy.tumblr.com!
Now, you too can make yourself a USB Joystick/ Gamepad/ Controller by choosing any form of input that the Arduino boards can understand. The source code and all the necessary download files are available at Google Code. Don’t forget to check out the Controller for Gran Turismo:
Thank you Alan for sharing a wonderful project with us.
This is the final project for my Advanced Mechatronics class at Penn State University. The robot is the skeleton of a turret from the game Portal that uses an IP webcam to track a target and fire nerf bullets at them. This is the current state of the robot as of 5/9/12, but I am currently molding a shell for the frame to make it look like the Portal turret, along with improving my code to make the tracking faster. All programming is done with MATLAB and Arduino. Enjoy!
Okay, it is cool to see Tetris powered by Arduino. What is even cooler is that you can build your own one!
For the English readers (like me) here is a translated version of the discussions and details in the forum, and for the lucky French readers who wont lose information in translation the details are here.
Michael Newman, VP of Technology at Pomp Productions, was invited to participate at the TEDxUCLA 2011 event to talk about “Making things”. Following a trip to Maker Faire and taking inspiration from mind controlled Nerf guns, Michael built a special project using Arduino, a Nerf Gun and Twilio.