At Core Electronics, we like to create projects and content that inspires others to unleash their inner inventor, so today we’ll be taking a look at 3 unique Makey Makey projects we’ve put together that you can make at home or in the classroom. If you're new to Makey Makey and want some more info getting started, check out some of our other Makey Makey tutorials.
Today we’ll be constructing 3 unique projects using the Makey Makey and a few other miscellaneous items you probably already have lying around. We’ll be making a delicious fruit gamepad for our RetroPie gaming console, a hook-and-loop skill game, and a piano we can draw with a pencil!
For all of these projects, you’ll need a Makey Makey. Our Makey Makey Starter Kit is a great kit to get you going. Along with this, you’ll need a few others bits and pieces to complete each project.
For the RetroPie Fruit Controller:
- Assortment of fruit (your choice, about 8 pieces)
- Video game that accepts a USB controller. We used a RetroPie console, however, you could also just use a game on your computer, or online.
For the Hook-and-Loop game:
- Bendable wire (or a coat hanger works well too)
- Cardboard box
And for the Pencil Piano:
- Sheet of paper
- Graphite (“lead”) pencil
Fruit and Veggie Gaming Controller
For this project, we’ll be using the Makey Makey in a capacitive touch configuration. If you’re not sure how to do this, check out our Makey Makey Capacitive Touch tutorial and set it up, then continue on.
- Step 1. Take your fruit/veggies and arrange them in a layout of your chosen gamepad. We’ve used a standard configuration similar to the vintage SNES controller with directional buttons and A/B buttons. Feel free to cut a piece of fruit/veggie into smaller pieces if you need.
- Step 2. Connect up an alligator clip to each piece, then connect it up to the corresponding pad on the Makey Makey then plug your Makey Makey board into the computer or device you’ll be using to play games.
- Step 3. Play!
Hook-and-Loop Skill Tester
For this project, we’ll use some exposed wire to make a classic skill tester game with a buzzer. We used some solid core hook-up wire and stripped the insulation from it, although you can use any kind of wire you can bend and hold in place. A coat hanger works really well. We’ll be using the standard firmware (resistive touch), if you’ve programmed your Makey Makey to use capacitive touch and you’re not sure how to revert, check out our Makey Makey Resistive Touch tutorial.
- Take your cardboard box and cut a piece off. This will be the base of the game.
- Step 2. Take your wire (strip it if you need to), and poke one end into your cardboard and secure it with a bit of blue-tack. Then bend it into a pattern or shape, ensuring that no part of the wiring is touching another, then poke the other end into the other side of your cardboard, securing with blue-tack.
- Step 3. Take another smaller piece of exposed (stripped) wire and create a loop with a handle around your main wire length. This will be the piece that gets moved along the wire.
- Step 4. Connect an alligator clip to the ground pad of your Makey Makey and attach this to the main wire. Then attach a second alligator clip to the handle wire piece, and connect it to an arrow key pad.
- Step 5. From the Makey Makey app page choose an app that you want to use to play a sound for the buzzer. It’s up to you which one you choose, although you might need to change which input pad you use depending on the app.
- Step 6. Play!
For this project we’ll be using the standard firmware (resistive touch), if you’ve programmed your Makey Makey to use capacitive touch and you’re not sure how to revert, check out our Makey Makey Resistive Touch tutorial. We’ll be drawing out our piano using a pencil, and connecting these drawn keys up to the Makey Makey which will trigger sounds from an online piano. Of course you don’t have to draw out a typical piano, it can look like whatever you want. Be creative!
- Draw your keys or pads on your paper making sure that all of you pencil strokes are touching (continuous). Make sure that each key drawing is separate and not touching each other.
- Connect your alligator clips up to each key or pad that you’ve drawn. You can connect/draw as many or as few as you like. Then connect this alligator clips to the input pads on your Makey Makey
- Connect a ground alligator clip to the Makey Makey, and hold the other end while you play your own unique instrument!
These are a few of our ideas for using the Makey Makey both in the classroom and at home. For more great ideas, check out some of the projects from the Makey Makey community: