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How would you hack a skee-ball machine? Answered

Hello fellow Instructablers,

We were invited to help the wonderful folks at Rackspace think of new, fun, interesting hacks for a classic Skee Ball machine that was given to them. We had some ideas, but I'm sure that you can help us come up with a few more.

We came up with the following:

-measure roll speed
-graphic overlay for the ramp (kinda like the lines on a bowling lane)
-output scores to graphic display
-RFID log-in to save unique player data
-case mod the display to show off the sweet sweet guts
-record video of 100 point rolls to capture the thrill of victory

That is a less-than-comprehensive list of things we came up with on our field trip to view the machine. Drop new suggestions in the comments.


I would add a strong magnet to the middle, where the highest points are achieved then I would add a smaller/weaker magnet to the ball.

Ball return should be a laser-guided pneumatic cannon.

Maybe just the ones that don't score. It would improve your game. A lot.

Hook up some face detection software to it. Twice the fun!

balls to you, SPAM


What has that stray comment been attached to mine?

Embed magnets inside some of the balls, but not others, and hide magnets under the playing surface to cause confusion.

Replace the standard balls with transluscent LED glowie ones.

Highlight the machine with fluorescent paint, add UV illumination, and play in a darkened room (or ill-lit corner, at least).

Convert it to skee-air-hockey-puck; replace the balls with discs of thick plastic, drill thousands of holes in the surface (what do you think interns are for?), and punp air up through them.

Replace the bottom run and the back of the scoring box with an infinity box, alternatively using a project or set of lights to do score lines etc with a an optional "trippy" mode that projects shifting patterns to make the ball rolling bit really confusing.

I would turn the thing you roll the bball on into an aquarium...completely aesthetics talking