Introduction: Dog Talk Mat With Makey Makey

Wouldn’t it be great if your furry loved ones could tell you exactly what they want? By making this Dog Talk Mat your pet can be trained to communicate three specific needs. This mat can be used by your pet to indicate one of three things: To go outside, Go for a walk or for food.

You will be creating three switches and using Scratch MIT to make the human sounds that relates to the needs of your pet. Your project will be connected to a Makey Makey to allow it to be interactive.

You will use cardboard, foil, and other household items, to create hinge switches that the dog would step on after being trained on its use. The commands would be recorded in your voice using the scratch coding.


Makey Makey kit

Cardboard strips and a large square piece to use as the mat (16”x 16”)

Scissors/Box Cutter

Ruler or Tape measure

Aluminum Foil

Glue stick or tape

Rubber bands (at least 3 medium size)

Art supplies of your choice or printed images/ magazine pictures

Computer internet access to

Scratch Program link:

Step 1: Creating Your Hinge Switches: Cutting and Folding Your Cardboard Strips

1. Cut three (3” x 6”) strips of cardboard using either your scissors or a box cutter

2. Find the half-way point (3”)and create a crease to make the folding easier then fold each strip of cardboard in half

Step 2: Adding Your Foil for Conduction

3. Cut out six 1” wide x 4 “ long strips of foil

4. Center the foil on the inside ends of the cardboard (allowing just a small amount to be folded back) and attach the aluminum foil to the inside of both ends of each strip of cardboard that has been folded. The foil should be on the inside on the folded hinge

5. Use glue stick or tape to keep the foil strips down on each end of the cardboard

6. At this point you should have three strips of cardboard with a strip of foil on the inside of each end.

7. When folded, the foil needs to match up when you close the hinge

8. Use a rubber bands to keep the hinge switches from opening too wide

Step 3: Connecting Your Makey Makey to Computer

1. Plug in your Makey Makey to your computer using the USB cable

2. Attach three alligator clips to the ground and then to one side of the folded switch with foil

3. Attach another alligator clip to the up arrow and then to the other foil end

4. Repeat step 3 for the remaining two cardboard strips with foil to the left arrow and the down arrow using alligator clips

Step 4: Decorating Your Switches and Mat

1. On the outside of the fold, you will decorate with available art supplies, print images from the computer or cut from magazines.

2. On the 16”x 16”- decorate to your liking but place your switches at the bottom of the board and attach with tape or glue.

3. Use scissors or pointed tool to make holes above the switch are for the alligator clips to avoid having the clips on the top of the mat.

4. Apply tape in the back to lay the alligator clip cables flat

Step 5: Voice Programming Using Scratch

1. Go to

2. If you are not signed up, click on Join Scratch(free) This will allow you to save your work

3. Create a username and password.

4. If you are already signed up, click on Sign In.

5. Click on Create to code a new Scratch script.

Step 6: Creating Your Sounds in Scratch: Outside, Food, Walk

1. At the top select sounds

2. Use your mouse to hover over the speaker on the bottom left

3. Select the mic for record

4. Record yourself saying the word OUTSIDE, then save

5. On the next screen, go to top left next to the word sound that says recording and type in the word outside. Do this for all three words. You should now see all three recordings along the left side of the screen ( OUTSIDE, FOOD, WALK)

Step 7: Time to Code

1. Select code to take you back to the first screen

2. Select events code from the left side

3. Drag and drop ‘when space key pressed’ into script area

4. Select the sound code and drag the ‘play sound ______ until done’ to the script area close to the event and a shadow will appear and they will snap together and connect

5. Repeat step 4 for the other two sounds

6. Make sure to select up arrow, left arrow and down arrow

7. For the up arrow the sound is outside, the left arrow the sound is food and for the down arrow the sound is walk

8. Now connect the Dog Talk Mat switches and Makey Makey to the computer to test the programmed sounds

Step 8: Wrapping It All Up

1. I also connected a portable Bluetooth speaker so that it would be loud enough to hear if I am in another room

2. Now attach the switches to the board

3. Now it’s time to train your furry loved ones on how to use the Dog Talk Mat