This is a 3-dimensional frame for the Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) game on the Sony Playstation 2. The pads are modifiable and can be used for other games as well. I wanted to build something for the kids in my Taekwondo class to have a game that can utilize hand techniques and timing.

It is slightly different from the video as I have modified and improved it since then. Here is Jacky demonstrating it. First time she ever tried it!!

Step 1: Items Needed

Four Pushbutton switches (momentary ON) - Radio Shack 275-1566A for the square one pictured. The round ones are better but I don't have the number. The other difference is that the round ones have screw-type terminals (better) and the square one pictured has solder-type terminals. If you will be moving it a lot you may want to get alligator clips as well.

Small gauge wire - Radio Shack 278-1218. I found afterwards that a couple different colors helps to keep everything straight.

Step 2: Items Needed

7/32 or thicker plywood, enough for four 10" by 10" squares

Aluminum trim - 80" (eight x 10" strips) optional but helpful

Foam padding - four 10" squares. Should be firm but slightly flexible, and an inch or so thick. I was lucky enough to acquire some gym floor padding which is carpeted on one side. Sports Authority sells workout floor squares that may work just as well.

Velcro strips

Rip-Stop nylon (2 yards)

Various hardware (screws, drill, soldering iron, knife, saw. glue gun, staple gun)

Step 3: Make the Pad Base.

Cut a 10 inch square from the plywood.

Hot glue four small strips of the foam to the corners at an angle. They should be about 1/2 inch thick. This provides the cushioning for when the pad compresses. Ignore the traces of padding that aren't in the corners. Those were other positions I tried but didn't work as well.

Drill a hole for the button and attach it. (The button pictured is slightly different from the one in the items step. Get a round one if you can find it.)

Step 4: Attach the Trim

Attach the strips of aluminum trim on the top and bottom of the back side of the base. The protruding edges (perpendicular to the board) should be 10 1/4 inch apart. This has to be spaced firmly to fit on the frame bars.

I also marked "R" on this pad so I'd know to attach it on the Right side.

Step 5: Place the Foam.

Place the foam on the button side of the pad base. When you press down on the center, the button should depress and make its connection. You can vary the thickness of the underlying foam supports if you need more or less space.

Place a velcro strip on top. This has to be long enough to wrap around the frame bar and secure the pad. This pic is wrong! The velcro should be perpendicular to the aluminum strips, not parallel. Check the next pic.

Step 6: Wrap It Up.

Turn the pad over and place on the Rip-Stop nylon. I also added a thin strip of padding on the aluminum strips so it cuts down the noise when it strikes the frame bars. You can see the terminals where the Ground and controller wires will attach.

Staple the nylon to the plywood. Leave enough room at the top of the aluminum strips for the velcro to come straight out so it can wrap around the frame bar.

The wrap should be firm, but not too tight. There has to be some give for enough motion to release the pressure button when not being pressed.

Step 7: Wire the Controller.

I bought an after-market controller for the Sony PS2. This one has the added advantage of being able to see through it. You can see where I soldered one wire each to the connection under each button. This is good enough for the DDR game. In fact, you only need to do the ones on the right side. I didn't bother with the analog controls, or the Start and Select buttons. This makes the controller still useable by itself.

There is also a Ground connection on the right and left side of the control board. Solder a wire to those also.

It is difficult to see, but there are actually five red wires coming out from each side of the controller.

Sorry for the lack of detail here, but I really didn't want to take it apart again to risk loosening a connection.

Step 8: Pigtail the Ground Wires.

Don't forget to label the wires or you will really get confused!

Take the two ground wires (if you did both sides) and pigtail them together with another wire that will go to another pigtail that will go to the pads.

Step 9: Set All Ground Wires for the Pads.

Take the single "out" ground wire you just added, and pigtail to four more wires that will connect to one side of each of the pad switch connectors.

Step 10: Wire the Rest.

This looks nasty but is pretty simple, really.

The bottom eight are the eight wires from the controller. I'm not currently using the four from the directional arrow side (up,down,left,right -- the left side on the controller), so those four on the barrier strip on the right are not connected to anything.

The four on the left are from the circle, square, triangle, and cross buttons. You can see they go "out" to the four green wires, which connect to one terminal of the pad switch.

You don't even need the barrier strip if you just wire from the one side of the controller. You could just run the wires directly.

You also see the pigtailed ground wire with the one going out to the blue pigtail in the previous step. Those four wires go to the other side of the pad switch.

This completes the circuit.

Step 11: Attach to the Frame.

Wrap the velcro strips around the bars of the frame and you are ready to play! Use the controller to choose your style, character, and song, then punch the front pad (which corresponds to the "X" -- or hit the "X" on the controller) and punch away!

I made the front one the Down arrow, and the top one the Up arrow. With this setup, you can actually do a solo two-player game, using the hands for player one and a regular dance pad as player two. I think I will airbrush the arrow on to the pads to make it a bit easier to follow.

Creating the frame is a whole 'nother process. I wanted something sturdy enough that you could whack pretty hard, but still be portable, and adjustable for people of various heights to be able to play. Still working on getting it just right. If you just want a home version for yourself, you could just make the basic frame out of railroad ties or something heavy.

If you don't make a frame, you could make it sort of a Whack-a-Mole game instead.
lol, i love the fact that there is a hammer in the forground, is that how you turn it off?
why would you want to do that? ps. that song sucks!
In my local Dave & Busters, there is a boxing game which has spatial recognition, so that you must duck, bob, and weave, and throw punches with the handheld 'gloves'. I have had a ton of fun and found it to be a good workout, though nothing like real kata or training should be... a nice fun pastime though. I could see integrating a setup like this along with or instead of the spatial recognition and boxing gloves, to allow for target practice with punches and kicks...with a custom game set up for various martial styles... I think I see the next Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, or Killer Instinct on the horizon, lol...
If I remember correctly, there is a certain Muay Thai move that, if applied correctly, can kill a person.
Having studied Muay Thai, I can assure you that indeed several moves within that style can easy kill a person. As can many moves in most any martial art...
ok i think they have a pad that just has lights and sound on it a standalone pad at toys r us
Very nicely done instructable. Good way to connect to kids who may spend too much time infront of a game console. THat and it helps with eye hand coordination. Now if there was a way to make the game show visual cues on the pads instead of watching a monitor..... that has some serious training possibilities as it would work with eye/hand coordination in a 3 dimensional venue. Not in my skillset, but if someone has an idea how to do that..... Nice job man. ~C
my idea that i plan to do is to use an old Simon Electronic game. with pressureswitches and lights on a punching dummy.
go to toysRus. there is a girls doubledancepad with lightup pads. it is stand alone with no tv required. 29.00$
I like your idea about tying the visual queues to the pads instead of or in addition to the TV. Each pad is linked with one row on the TV screen, right? When a symbol appears in that row and starts moving toward the top the matching pad could light up blue dimly and begin getting brighter. Then when the symbol is at the top of the TV screen and it's time to hit the pad make the pad's light turn yellow and double in intensity. Then if you hit it it could turn green and if you miss it make it turn red for a moment. Would only require some simple electronics and a game that has an accessible API. There are a few computer-based - possibly open-source - games like DDR which could be adapted to control the lighting of the pads. This sounds like a collaboration waiting to happen.
If this is your idea of good training for tae kwon do ... im sorry but you shouldnt of ever passed your licence, i trained until my blackbelt, won the british championships and then was asked to fight for the british team in the european chamionships in germany, unfortunaty i needed an opertaion so i couldnt, but....this is a toy.
Wow, arent we a hard ass. IMO, tae kwon do is pointless. Brazillian Ju Jitzu and Muay Thai is where its at. But then of course you have boxing and wrestling which are also better then tae kwon do. You are probobly what, 14? Im sure you have. Wanna know why? cause your the "CAMSTER!"
No style is superior to another; only different. It is the skill of the combatant that determines the outcome of a fight, unless environmental factors are considered. To say that one style is inherrently "better" is to say that one design of a knife will cut all objects with results superior to another design. Any chef will tell you that this is blatant fantasy. Martial arts has only ever been a set of tools to train the mind and body with a certain set of predetermined actions and responses, for the purpose of increasing reaction time, confidence, and general combat effectiveness. Some have attached a spiritual side to the art form, but for nuts and bolts this is true. Take any form against a different form, and BOTH combatants will see things they are unprepared for.
Personally, while I feel that this device is lacking in several areas (i.e. blocking, kicking, and, well, any action that is NOT punching), I must admit to the effectiveness of its hand/eye coordination, timing, and response training. Some of these songs are incredibly fast. If she can react that quickly with a proper punch, then a first-strike against someone who has not used this device will be nearly guaranteed to catch him/her completely off guard. I would suggest a modular configuration, so that the pads can be moved to other areas of the frame, as well as a training guide that can teach proper technique, and apply that technique to striking the pads in an effective manner. I'm impressed with this, and may just build one myself.
Hmm. I don't suppose you ever saw Fight Science? The episode where Bren Foster was training with a machine that was remarkably similar to this one? I don't see why your extensive experience in TKD lets you write this neat machine off so conclusively. Personally, I'd love one with some kick pads to sharpen up my bit-chagi. Sgt. Waffles: as a tae kwon do student I'm clearly biased, but can you justify calling it pointless? I'm not getting into the "my martial art's c*ck is bigger than your martial art's" debate, but TKD teaches practical self defence; improves flexibility, fitness and all the stuff you expect from a martial art; and is a sport, so no more pointless than, say, football. It's way more entertaining as well- when did you last see a football match won with a rolling roundhouse to the head?
i hate when people diss other people's instructables...
Congratulations on your illustrious Taekwondo career. It is unfortunate you needed an operation. I have been an Instructor for more than 20 years. I am always looking for a way to increase the variety of training. This is an enhancement, not a replacement for proper training. Plus, it's a lot of fun!
This is fantastic! It makes my red octane pads look like wussies! Squee!
This is awesome. Here are some other ideas to add in: 1. Why not use a computer? Gives you more choices of songs (means you can design your own workout sets). This also allows you to program doubles pad songs which would give you 8 different areas to attack. You can probably make it into more if you have programming know how. 2. How about altering the design slightly to allow the pvc to slide up and down so that it can be adjustable. All you would need is drilled holes and a bolt to adjust.
You could also put a dance pad underneath and put the game in double mode to workout arms and legs at the same time. I would like to see someone do this. It would be hard and take practice, but I am sure someone could do it.
I see very nice first person shooter possibillities :D or, make it a keyboard (Microsoft WORD BOXING :P)
that would be so much fricken fun... i mean you loose some flub and do your homework or own n00bs (nubs) [dont know how you say it anymore] at the same time. way cool idea edwin -make it-
Would you call this BBR - Box, Box Revolution
Very cool!! Nice work impulse! I think Camster911 is missing the point..
Imagine DDR plus Guitar Hero plus one of those karaoke games plus Donkey Konga.
very simple instructable...very well written and layed out do you ever have issues with buttons not being depressed correctly? since it's a small momentary switch in the center? or does the foam distribute the preassure enough to compensate? wonder if having 4 or 5 switches per pad (one in each corner and maybe one in the center) sandwiched between two peices of plywood seperated by soft foam or springs then the outside ply covered in the padding would make it more responsinve? all 4 or 5 switches could be wired to the same button so that "hitting" any of them would cause the circuit to close? or maybe, for "fine control" training you could have the 4 buttons (one in each corner as above) wired to DIFFERENT buttons...that way they have to hit the top left coroner on the pad to activate button x and the bottom right for button Y, etc... to make it more challenging than just smacking the big pad?
Interesting...I had just found out that putting the stiffer side of the foam <strong>towards </strong> the switch has a better effect. I discovered that the tiny button had started to compress the soft foam, making it harder to make the connection. <br/><br/>Yes, you have to be fairly accurate to hit the center, but it is pretty forgiving, and I rarely have misses (when my timing is right, anyway!).<br/>
Just looked at this, and I think the best thing about this is that it really shows how to do open-ended modifications, by rewiring an after-market controller. I have looked at homebrew processes before, and this one seems more approachable than most. Cool!
How much did all this cost? I have a DDR game and I think this would me fun to make.
Well, I got a lot of different items at different times. Maybe $10 for the electronic parts (wires, switches, etc). Because I used so much PVC pipe it came to about $100 total -- the same as what you'd pay for a good dance pad. It's all the connectors that brought the total up. I'm sure it could be made more efficiently or cheaply!
someone should try to build a Kilowatt game controller - its more for adults than DDR. And they are +$700 so to build it yourself would be great.
camster dosent being black belt mean that your like qualified to like officially be a student or something cuase it theres actually a two mat mode that you can play across two mats so it would even be possible to use hands and feet.
Nice I dea! One ov mi mats isn't working, thats a good idea with the buttons!
yeah your right, it doesnt look that hard to make, but its time consuming, and i have better things to do=) <br/><br/>nice instructable tho...i'll consider doing it sometime<br/>
Only every now and then do I really wish I had something that a maker has made. This is one of those times. I could use it to help shed a few of my carry around pounds. I don't know where I'd put the device, however. I live in a small apartment. Maybe I could just toss out some furniture :) Great work, and a very fun video - thanks for sharing. That girl's gonna be a ninja.
Makers make things? Who knew? I don't think it is that hard to make. Oh, if that girl, or anyone, can do a song in hard mode, call me!
I would like for someone to do this to an XBOX360, and design a game using that new XNA framework (well, when the XBOX part comes out.) I can see about 20 different buttons :-D!
pretty neat, personally i think ddr is kinda lame but hey whatever floats your boat.
why even bother posting you don't like something? just ignore it. yes yes i know, there is mild irony in my saying this.
I can't help but laugh at your statement... :-P
In the right hands/feet this could look awsome, Bring on the MAX. (peroid)
This is pretty cool, and the fact that your kids can use it mix-up their practice for Tae Kwon Do is great too. Wish I had one back when I was playing DDR.
Jane Jana!! Anyway great instructable.
BTW you'll be a hero to me if you put up a video of someone doing MAX 300 on Heavy or Paranoia Survivor Max on Challenge/Oni with your DDR frame :D
Sounds like a great way to train - increase endurance and decrease boredom when doing a million punches in a row.
Awesome! 2 words....DDR Boxing
This is really weird. Just yesterday I was telling my mom that it would be easy to make your own DDR pad because all you really need is a controller, buttons and wires and stuff. Now I really want to make one since I know it can be done :D
wow... that's pretty cool :P A rather complicated frame - but it looks good :P

About This Instructable




More by implaxis:Fantastic Finger Fidget Flipper for Free Perpetual Puzzle Calendar Sharknado Costume 
Add instructable to: