Metal Race combines operation and calculator game

metal_race

[Greg] was feeling nostalgic about the game RACE for to TI-83 graphing calculator. In the game, your car is stationary with controls to move the scrolling maze from side to side in order to avoid a crash. He set out to build a physical version of the game with a don’t-touch-the-side concept that reminds us of Operation.

The game board is a wire frame constructed from paperclips then attached to a motorized frame. The vehicle is also metal and is attached to the lens sled from a scrapped CD-ROM drive. The maze scrolls from left to right with up and down vehicle motion controlled by two arcade buttons. An Arduino controls the motors and monitors the button inputs. He has plans to add a buzzer that sounds when the metal car “crashes” in to the wire walls of the maze. We’ve embedded video of the working game after the break. For more build photos take a look at his flickr set.

Comments

  1. MrX says:

    The idea is cool but the implementation is kind of lame.

  2. Jeremy C says:

    Looks like it needs a little work…

  3. kstop says:

    it’d be nicer if it was a rotating circular course that sped up every revolution.

  4. damntech says:

    Kinda like a non looping, simi-dynamic Tomy Digital Derby? Neat idea does any one remember the weird (electro)mechanical hand held games from the >70s?

  5. strider_mt2k says:

    I do!

    Exactly what it reminded me of.

    Interesting!

  6. Sam says:

    You youngins think it’s nostalgic to refer to a game for the TI-83?

    That game used to be called “Canyon Cruiser” back when it ran on the Commodore 64.

  7. aztraph says:

    hey sam how about the game bruce lee for the atari, that was fun
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpfv7_m7hyQ

  8. Greenaum says:

    I’m amazed this uses an Arduino when the job could be done with, basically, a few pieces of wire! Perhaps a transistor or two for a latch if you wanted the game to stop when you hit the side.

    Or even better, do it the way they did it in arcades in the 1970s. Basically a light sensor, and track made from transparent film to detect collision.

    OTOH this project is mostly mechanical, which makes it a shame that it only “kinda” works! It would be nice and novel to see it working as a cute mechanical game, it’s nice when people use ingenuity to get the most out of something simple, rather than just throwing MIPS at it. The mechanical aspect alone is the impressive factor.

  9. Edward Payant says:

    Stopped working properly after two months of use? I’d be returning it for a new one rather than fixing it.

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