Turn a regular skimboard into a game interface so that you can physically surf virtual worlds!

The skimboard interface is a custom interface built for the game Surf RMB City by the artist Cao Fei, who also designed the skimboard graphics.

This Instructable will show you how to build the interface and program it to emulate left, right and jump key presses. With a little more programming skills you can also make it do much more.

The skimboard interface is made up of six handmade textile pressure sensors that are embedded within layers of felt mounted beneath a commercial skimboard. These pressure sensors can detect the weight and position of somebody standing on the skimboard. All six sensors are connected to a small programmable HID (Human Interface Device) module called the Teensy 2.0. The Teensy is programmed to read the sensor data in order to detect whether somebody is standing on the skimboard and interpret if they are leaning left or right. This information is then mapped to different keyboard strokes in order that the skimboard interface can control the game.

More pictures of the installation at the Museum of the Moving Image, NY:
>> http://rmbcity.com/2011/01/surf-in-rmb-city-2/

Video from work in progress
(Unfortunately i don't have a video of the final installation)

Step 1: Materials, Tools and Downloads

• Skimboard: http://www.amazon.com/MBS-95541-35-Wood-Skimboard-35-Inch/dp/B00333FK56/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1292697655&sr=8
• Griptape (sandpaper with adhesive backing used for skateboards) >> http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=griptape&x=0&y=0
• ¼ inch felt >> http://www.sutherlandfelt.com
• Teensy 2.0 >> http://www.adafruit.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=16&products_id=199
• 234/34 4 ply Conductive sewing thread >> http://www.shieldextrading.net/sewing_products.html
• Conductive Velcro >> http://lessemf.com/fabric.html
• EeonTex piezo-resistive fabric >> http://eeonyx.com/
• Fusible interfacing (iron-on fabric heat glue) >> local fabric store
• Black button thread (thick, strong thread) >> local fabric store
• Superglue >> local hardware store
• Studio tack (double sided sticky tape) >> local craft store
• Wire >> local hardware store or Radioshack

• Mini USB cable (to connect to Teensy) >> online or Radioshack
• Computer with Arduino, Teesyduino library and Teensy Loader software installed (see downloads)
• Lasercutter (to cut the griptape design)
• Sharp fabric scissors (for cutting thick felt) >> local fabric store
• Soldering iron >> online for Radioshack
• Multimeter >> online for Radioshack
• Wire strippers and cutters >> Radioshack
• Iron (for fusing the interfacing) >> borrow from somebody
• Large sheet of paper and markers >> local craft store
• Hot glue gun >> local hardware store
• Sewing needles >> local fabric store

• Arduino (application) >> http://arduino.cc/en/Main/Software
• Teensy Loader (application) >> http://www.pjrc.com/teensy/loader.html
• Teensyduino (software add-on) >> http://www.pjrc.com/teensy/td_download.html
• Teensy game code (by Friedrich Kirschner, ZIP) >> http://www.plusea.at/downloads/skimboard-game.zip
• Teensy test code (ZIP) >> http://www.plusea.at/downloads/skimboard-test.zip
• Teensy pins for Arduino (JPG) >> http://www.flickr.com/photos/plusea/4895291504/
• Skimboard design (by Cao Fei, PDF) >> http://www.plusea.at/downloads/skimboard-design.pdf
• Skimboard griptape cut-file (PDF) >> http://www.plusea.at/downloads/skimboard-cut-file.pdf
• Skimboard buildup (PDF) >> http://www.plusea.at/downloads/skimboard-cut-file.pdf
• Sensor placement layout (PDF) >> http://www.plusea.at/downloads/skimboard-sensors.pdf

Another great instructable!

About This Instructable




More by Plusea:Organized Organization - Tiered Zip Pouches 3D Sewing: Rings With Rope 3D Sewing: Rings with Strings 
Add instructable to: