My 8-year old daughter and I recently attended a Makey Makey demonstration at a local Maker Space. I was surprised at how much she enjoyed the event as she does not typically like technology. Part way through, the light bulb clicked on for her and off we went.
To keep her interested, I readily agreed to build another project with her. We quickly settled on Minecraft and she decided to integrate her sisters foam Minecraft Diamond Sword. Upon learning this, said sister decided she wanted to help also.
This project provides a simple, hands-on project that introduces a simple circuit. It also encourages one to explore the interaction of real-world objects with the virtual world.
Step 1: Add Tin Foil to Sword
We will need to make the sword conductive. Our sword is a simple foam sword. To make it conductive and provide a large target area we use tinfoil.
Cut a strip of tinfoil approximately 1" by 18-24". Use the hot glue gun to attach the tinfoil to the edge of your sword. Wrap extra tinfoil over the edges of the sword.
Step 2: Attach Lead to Tinfoil
Using one of the clips include with the Makey Makey - attach the lead to the tinfoil. Use some hot glue to attach the wire to the back side of the sword - this prevents the lead from ripping through the tinfoil.
We chose to increase the wire length by simply using a length of spare wire and clipping Makey Makey leads to both ends.
Step 3: Create Target
Take a sheet of tinfoil and attach a Makey Makey lead to it. For our target, we folder a large sheet of tinfoil so that it was a more solid. We then attached the target to the wall using scotch tape.
Step 4: Finalize Circuit
Connect the lead from the sword to the 'Space Bar' input on the Makey Makey board and the lead from the target to the 'Ground' portion of the board.
Step 5: Have Fun
Start Minecraft and make sure you have bound the spacebar key the 'Attack' command in Minecraft. Now when you touch your sword to the target the circuit is completed and your character will attack.
Step 6: Supplies
Makey Makey Kit
Extra lengths of wire
Glue - we used hot glue.
Sword - we used a store bought sword, but it would be a fun project to make your own. Once we put the project together and the girls used it they wanted to make a shovel and add it to the system.