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?
Ready? Let's Play!
To get familiar with the Makey Makey and try out whatever you are using as conductive "keys", it's a good idea to just run a little test. We started by just connecting a few alligator clips and testing things out with good old Windows Notepad...here's how:
Now you should be able to touch the "space wire" to type spaces in the Notepad session, and then touch the left "arrow wire" to move the cursor back to the left.
Next, to be sure things will work, connect the wires to your conductive material...in our case that's play-dough...but you may choose bananas, snap peas, tin foil, who knows what!
O.K. our Makey Makey with Play-dough works...
Now let's get Craaaazy with Crazy Taxi!