The video clips below show the pizza box Skeeball controller in action.
Step 1: Gather Your Supplies
You will need:
(Things you might intercept on the way to a trash can)
- 1 pizza box (grease is optional)
- 3 plastic cups (it is a good idea to wash them out first)
- 3 1-Liter plastic bottles
- 1 to 3 balls (I chose tennis balls, but a foil ball of similar size and weight would suffice)
- Extra sacrificial cardboard (the collection should amount to roughly twice as much as your pizza box offers)
(Things to which you might already have access)
- A marker
- A ruler (although rough estimates are fine for this project)
- 3 pushpins
- A boxcutter (to be used carefully around your floor and body) or a pair of scissors
- 1 external keyboard (unless you're comfortable with hurling things at your main keyboard)
- 1 computer
- The ScratchScratch programming environment (optional, and free)
Step 2: Construct the Pizza Box’s Base
*Start by selecting some cardboard to serve as the base.
(Feel free to tape pieces of cardboard together until you have a piece as wide as the pizza box and longer than the opened box.)
*Mark and cut the lines that represent what will become your pizza box ramp support structure. Fold them upright when cut.
*Lift the lid of your pizza box to about 45 degrees. Find a piece of cardboard that matches the width of your pizza box and is a little taller than the lid you're lifting.
Cut a hole in the bottom of that piece that will fit your keyboard. Remove notches from the top of it so that it can function as a slot in a tab you'll make in the next step.
Note: I tinkered with an initial prototype of this project until I arrived at a structure that satisfied me (just stable and reliable enough). I built the more-stable version I'm describing by looking at the parts of the initial prototype. I did not work from exact measurements. I do not mention many measurements in this instructable as I hope that the pictures will help you "eyeball" measure the materials you find. You'll notice that I try to refer to the size of most parts with respect to the things to which they connect.
Step 3: Convert the Pizza Box to an Inclined Skeeball Alley
-Open the pizza box and turn it upside down so that the logo faces upward (not the grease).
-Cut a tab in the lower half of the pizza box that you can slide into a slot you cut in the baseboard in the last step.
-Mark and cut the necessary holes in the pizza box. A set of slots for the ramp support, the ramp outline, and holes into which you'll place the cups.
Step 4: Make Room for the Holes
Step 5: Connect Your Holes to Your External Keyboard
We mate the bottom part of the bottles with the now-bottomless cups. To mate the bottles with the keyboard keys, a pushpin in the lid and some tape do the trick.
One way that I tested my connections between the holes and the keys was to type into a text editor. I used a very large font, rolled balls into cups and checked to find out how often the ball would strike the intended key.
You could use the text editor as a way to keep a tally of your rolls, but the next step might be more fun for you.
Step 6: Control a Computer Program
There are many computer programs that let you trigger events when a person presses a particular key on a keyboard. I used the Scratch programming environment. It is available at http://scratch.mit.edu as a free download. (Part of my role on the Scratch design team is to make new ways for people to interface with Scratch in a more physical way - extending the keyboard is one of many ways.)
You can download the pizza_overflow project on the Scratch website at: http://scratch.mit.edu/projects/millner/350143.
The page includes notes about the project and a link to download it's code. You can learn about how to get started using Scratch from support materials on the website if you'd like to extend this example, modify it, or make your own.
To make the pizza_overflow project work with your pizza box Skeeball controller's keyboard, there are parts of the program that you might need to adjust. The program contains three command blocks that allow you to select which key a particular part of the program will respond to. I set the default project to use the numbers 1,2, and 3 for each topping. In Step 5, you connected each hole of your pizza box Skeeball controller to a number (or letter) on your keyboard. Please adjust the Scratch command in the image below to your keys. Do so for the sauce, cheese, and topping object.