Controlling real objects using Minecraft

Most augmented reality takes images of the real world and superimposes virtual data on top of them. [Michael Winston Dales] went a different direction, using the virtual world of Minecraft to control objects in the physical world. In the video after the break you can see him use switches that he built inside the game to turn the LEDs pictured above on and off. You’ll also notice that in-game sign instructing a player to stand in one spot to Tweet. Since Minecraft is written in Java there are some mods that allow you to hook onto in-game events. [Michael] does just that, triggering his own scripts to send data to an Arduino, or use a Twitter API. Now this something that should be used with the Minecraft ALU. It takes the sandbox method of gaming to a new place, doesn’t it?

13 thoughts on “Controlling real objects using Minecraft

  1. Does this go backwards as well ?

    Ie, can you flick an in-game switch via a RL event ?

    Hm, lets say a lever turns on your Light, does turning the Light on manually switches state on the lever ?

  2. People have extensively hacked the multiplayer server package and you have full control over everything in the world so you should be able to do two way if you write the code for it.

    The author of Minecraft doesn’t like client side mods but server side ones are okay.

    Years ago somebody made a modified version of Doom called psDooM and you’d see grunts for each of the running processes in your system. If you had the relevant permissions then you could in game kill one of the processes and the real process would also get killed. Admin your system via Minecraft? Beware of that exploding creeper though…

  3. This guy does not provide his plugin code or really any of the required schematics for this hardware.

    has anyone got any good urls on how to reproduce this?

  4. “Since Minecraft is written in Java there are some mods that allow you to hook onto in-game events.”

    Java has absolutely nothing to do with hooks or APIs. If anything, it makes mods harder to make, since you can’t actually see the code (a la a scripting language).

  5. @David Have you ever tried patching Java binaries? It is really super easy compared to C++ or similar. Java stays object oriented down to the bytecode which makes it a breeze to work with. I’m sure that is why it is so easy to make really cool mods for Minecraft. Yeah, Python code would be easier, but Java certainly helps when hooking the api (subclasses, anyone?).

  6. Really cool! Had the same idea myself, but completely lost any motivation for getting into Minecraft modding when I saw how much work it’d be keeping it working between updates (Notch obfuscates his code). With the newly released Minecraft Beta, a midding API should be available. Is anyone aware of said API being documented anywhere?

    1. From my understanding the modding API will just be a specially licensed version of the entire source code of Minecraft.

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