What the Heck is a Makey Makey?
Have you ever wanted to change the way the controls work on a particular computer program or game? Ever wanted to create a fun electronic invention without needing to be an electrical engineer or computer programmer? Ever want to have some crazy fun? Then Makey Makey is for you! What is it? Basically it's a device that a computer thinks is a USB keyboard and or mouse, but you can hook it up to lots of things more fun than simply a keyboard or button...for example, with Makey Makey you can use Play-dough, a banana or a bucket of water in place of keys on a keyboard. Makey Makeys have been used to create custom game controllers, piano's with fruit as the keyboards, musical staircases, and even a Dance Dance Revolution machine with buckets of water as the dance mat! There are tons of examples you can view here
Crazy Taxi, Why?
Crazy Taxi is fun old game, and the keyboard controls seem kind of unnatural. Makey Makey allowed me to create a custom control panel including even gas and brake pedals. I put this Instructable together so anyone can learn about Makey Makey, learn how to create custom controls and even override the default keys supported by Makey Makey. I've included a video of my Crazy Taxi "dashboard" and "pedals" in action.
What's in the package?
A Makey Makey kit includes a circuit board card, USB Cable to connect it to your computer, 7 Alligator clip wires to connect to your "keys" (which may be crazy things like bananas), 6 Connector Wires (for connecting to the header contacts on the back of the board), 20 Stickers (for the fun of it), a colorful tin storage box and graphical instructions.
What can I use for a "key"?
You connect your Makey Makey "keys" to the Makey Makey circuit board by alligator clips, essentially electrical wires, so as you might guess, whatever you use as key needs to be able to conduct electricity. So naturally aluminum foil works, but you'd be surprised what else works. Vegetables (we tried snap peas), bananas, water, some types of plastic, for this Instructable we'll be using dollar store Play-dough. Check out this Instructable where I use icicles for game controllers!
Experiment and have fun!
What do I need for this Instructable?
- Makey Makey from http://makeymakey.com/
- Computer or other device that connects to a usb keyboard (Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone Black, etc)
- Play-Dough to use for our custom control panel (got mine from the dollar store...for a dollar :-)... but you could make your own)
- Old vent covers or some scrap metal to use as foot petals.
- Paper or cardboard to design your game controller
- Tape to hold down the wires during wild and crazy game play
- Metal keyring (not essential, but we found it made for an easy way to ground the player...you'll see what I mean in a bit)
Ready? Let's Play!