Have fruit? Don't be boring and just eat it, instead play with your food! Using a Makey Makey and Scratch Programming you can play fruit ninja with real fruit! This game is easy and fun for all ages! We will be having the kids in our STEM camp make this game themselves this summer!
Step 1: Materials
-Makey Makey Kit
-Computer with Scratch Programming (free online and offline versions)
-Fruit: apple, banana, kiwi, lemon, orange, pear
-copper wire (optional)
Step 2: Prepare Your Fruit
The fruits displayed in the Scratch game are: banana, apple, kiwi, lemon, orange, and pear. You could use whatever fruits you want though (especially if using old fruit around your house) and could easily change the game code to reflect your fruit preferences!
The Makey Makey works by turning anything conductive into your keyboard! Conveniently, fruit is very juicy, and thus conductive. You will find the Makey Makey works better with some fruit skins than others. Simply cutting your fruit in half can solve this issue if your fruit skin is insulating your fruit. For fruit like this (apple for example) I just cut the fruit in half, then undid a paperclip and stuck it in both sides. I then connected the Makey Makey jumper cable to the paperclip (sticking it directly in the apple will make it sticky afterwards) and the exposed fruit was delightfully conductive! I made the paperclip lay flat with the apple (as opposed to perpendicular) so that the apple surface will be able to make contact with our ninja sword during game play.
Step 3: Foam Sword
Next make your foam sword conductive. I simply wrapped mine in aluminum foil, but for extra conductivity you could also wrap it in copper wire over the foil. I will be having the kids use the copper wire to hold the aluminum foil on the sword better and hopefully help it last longer.
Make a loop at the end of your foil or wire to attach the jumper cable to the ground on the makey makey. I used two jumper cables connected to each other to make the sword's reach longer. To protect the connection from excited youngsters I will wrap the cord around the handle of the sword and tape it down. This will prevent the foil from ripping off where the jumper cable is connected.
Step 4: Scratch Programming
For the game coding I found this awesome, already made Fruit Slicer game on Scratch Programming by diogosergio. I was going to remix, but honestly his game already fit the needs for my project perfectly! The author remixed the coding so that it would use keys friendly to the Makey Makey. The game even gives you a score so you could challenge your friends and see who can get the most points!
Besides the fruit keys, this game has keyboard keys for start, retry, back, Zen mode, and Classic mode. I simply used the keyboard for these in my test run, but we will have the kids make play-doh buttons for the start, back, and retry buttons! I included an example picture of play-doh buttons in this step, you simply stick the jumper cables into the play-doh and voila!
Keep in mind, depending on how many fruits and play-doh buttons you use, you may have to get more jumper cables than what comes in the Makey Makey kit.
Step 5: Practice Your Ninja Skills!
Hook up your fruits to the corresponding keys on the Makey Makey. If you are using the Fruit Slicer game linked in this instructable, the keys are: Apple- up arrow, Banana- down arrow, Kiwi- left arrow, Lemon- right arrow, Orange- space bar, and Pear - A (which is found on the back of the Makey Makey).
The sword should be connected to the ground on the Makey Makey. If you made play-doh buttons for the start, back, retry, etc. buttons in the game, hook these up to their corresponding keys.
Now just space out all your fruits and play away!
*I will update later this summer with some photos of our STEM camp kid creations!