January 19, 2016 08:00 by kimm
A Makey Makey is an amazing new way to interact with a computer. With it you can use bananas, cats or just about anything to play video games, piano or whatever your imagination can conjure up. It lets you connect your computer to the physical world. Here are some of the things you can do…
Makey Makey is the invention kit that doesn’t need any soldering or programming. Although there are wires and a circuit board with tiny electronics bits, it really is simple to use for all ages and a lot of fun. Since there is no programming or soldering required it is a great way to add interaction to a multimedia creative art project or just for play.
So how is it so simple?
The Makey Makey just pretends to be a keyboard and mouse. Now any program that runs on a computer can reach out and be touched by the outside world.
Here are some examples (hint see the video)
- Banana space bar
- Super Mario game pad using Play Doh
- Play pac man uses pencil drawings as the controller
- Dance Dance revolution using buckets of water as the game pad
- Turn stairs into a Piano
- Use friends hands and bodies as a synthesizer
- Make a photo booth for cats
- Alphabet spaghetti keyboard
The Makey Makey has a bunch of little connection points that represent keyboard buttons and mouse buttons/directions. You connect one end of little wires to these connection points and the other end of the wires to anything that conducts electricity. The Makey Makey then detects when you touch the connected object. You can use anything that conducts even a little bit of electricity. It doesn’t need to be metal. The moisture and minerals in things like bananas and cats allow them to conduct electricity just enough. It is also very low voltage so no chance of a big zap.
More info can be found in this quick start guide