How to Make a Smart SkeeBall Machine

Introduction: How to Make a Smart SkeeBall Machine

Skeeball is fun, but it gets monotonous after time. Smart Skeeball is a new and interactive experience, changing the way you play! It appeals to a larger amount of people thanks to its ability to be customized! This project represents the Intelligent Systems Engineering program because it encourages the integration of everyday life with computer coding. ISE promotes students to advance technology in daily life, while innovating new designs.

Function Overview:

Smart Skeeball is a standard Skeeball machine with an integration of code. As balls go through the holes in the back board, break beam sensors register a lesser light value due to the ball interrupting the beam. When this lower light value is registered, various animated objects will react in a different way – which is displayed on the projected background onto the back board. This also triggers the additions of points to a point system displayed on the game.

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Step 1: List of Materials

Step 2: Get All Materials

To begin making Smart Skeeball, one must first acquire all the necessary items.

The assembly of the machine is split into two different units: the ramp unit and the board unit, one containing the ramp and one the backboard. The two are placed closely together to play the game.

You can see the dimensions of the parts here.

Step 3: Build the Ramp Unit

Cut all necessary wood pieces to the correct length. Then begin by constructing the two legs of the ramp, connecting the three main 2x4’s for either side. Then carefully attach the ramp board by screwing along the longer 2x4 between the two legs. Add support beams at the front and back, the ball catcher at the front, and the ball-hop at the end.

Step 4: Build the Board Unit

Cut all necessary wood pieces to the correct length. Use a 3” circular saw to cut holes in the backboard for the balls to go through. Begin by building the frame of the unit, attaching all of the outer 2x4’s to establish the base, as well as the longer one that supports the board. Carefully lay the board on top of the support, and screw it in at the top and bottom where it meets the support beams.

Step 5: Build Mount for Projector

Take a "1x3" plywood piece and two pieces of any left greater than 2". Attach parallel to the "1x3" plywood piece and screw in the 2 same pieces as you can see in this image.

Step 6: Build a Ball Catcher!

You can see the ball catcher in the image for the last step, right under the ramp.
You will first need a sheet that is long enough, exactly 2 ft longer that the ramp itself.

Nail a piece of plywood between the the front legs of the ramp. Do not screw it in perfectly horizontal. Bend he front part of the plywood towards the ground so when the balls come to the front of the ramp, they will fall into the catcher. Then, use a staple gun to staple one end of the sheet at the back of the ball catcher. Leave end of sheet (in the back of the ramp) un-stapled as this machine consists of 2 moving pieces.

Staple the sides of the sheet to the insides of the bottom of the ramp.

When machine is in final positions, staple the loose and the sheet on the furthest vertical pieces in the game board piece.

Step 7: Complete Wiring

Begin by taping both the receiver and transmitter parts of the sensors to each hole, as shown in the pictures. Feed each wire along the edge of the frame to the breadboard. Attach each red wire to power, each black to ground, and each white to an analog port. Then connect a computer to the Arduino and execute the code. Also add 6 resistors of 10k Ohm each. Resistors are important because otherwise, the Analog results will be fluctuating constantly. But with resistors, light values are much more clear (and it is easier to give a specific value to code when reading a value of 15 or whatever is read when a ball goes through holes after final set up).

A Fritzing is attached to show you where to place the ends of wires and resistors.

Step 8: Download Scratch 4 Arduino

To write the code, download Scratch for Arduino.

Step 9: Download Images for Your Theme

Begin by downloading images of the costumes you need. The best images are the images with a transparent background, however it is possible to crop out the background in S4A. Create the number of sprites that is appropriate for your design and add each costume to the appropriate sprite.

Step 10: Begin Code

Once the costumes are added, you can begin writing code for each costume. If your costumes are “raining” down the screen, as in the money screen, program each sprite to glide from the top of the screen to the bottom in a specific time interval.

Step 11: Code the Game!!!

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    3 years ago

    Cool ideas! I love homemade skeeball games. I've built a couple actually, and am workin on another. Nice to see what you've done with yours.