Getting bored of using the traditional keyboard to give commands to your computer? Ever thought it could be possible to play music notes using bananas? In that case, Makey Makey is the product you have been looking for.
Makey Makey is a simple DIY input platform that lets you use alligator clips to attach conductive objects to a circuit board and convert everyday objects into touch sensitive buttons. MaKey MaKey does not require any drivers or wrappers to function. Everyday items that can be converted into keys include bananas, play-doh, drawings made on a piece of paper using a pencil, etc. The makey makey kit includes a circuit board, alligator clips, and a USB cable.
Let's take a very common example and make an interface to play a popular game called piano tiles. As mentioned earlier, MaKey Makey can turn any conductive item into a touch-sensitive button. We simply have to draw a few markers on a piece of paper using a pencil. As you know, graphite conducts electricity and is perfectly suited for this application. Once the markers are drawn, make small extensions to them so that you can attach the alligator clips which come with the kit. The other end of the alligator clip wire can be connected to the circuit board so that it gets mapped to the keyboard of your computer. You have an option to map the following keys from your computer- all arrow keys, space bar, W, A, S, D, F, G and mouse clicks. The arrow inputs along with the space bar and left mouse click can be found on one side of the circuit board. The other side of the circuit board has the above-mentioned keyboard alphabet inputs along one edge and mouse inputs along the other edge. If you want to control these keys with your hands, simply connect the EARTH pin on the circuit board to your body using an alligator clip, connect the circuit board to your computer using the provided white cable and you're good to go.
It's pretty simple as well. It works on the principle of potential difference as an input. The items attached to the circuit board are maintained at a higher potential. Your body is connected to the earth pin which is at a lower potential. When you touch the item (in this case the pencil made pads), the keyboard mapped key is brought down to Earth’s potential. This acts as a trigger and the input is fed to the computer. Better conducting items will act as better inputs.
For the piano tiles game, you’ll need the W, A, S and D keys. Simply make the connections, plug in the device and start playing. One can make a ton of interesting projects with the help of the Makey Makey kit.
For other fun apps with makey makey, you can check out the official website at https://makeymakey.com/blogs/how-to-instructions/apps-for-plug-and-play. An example app on that site is the piano app, which uses the arrow keys, space key and the “Click” key on the makey makey to play different notes on the on-screen piano. The click key on the makey makey simulates a mouse button press on the screen, so make sure you place the mouse pointer on the “Click” piano key for the note to be played.