Pactuator: Mechanical Pac-Man Frame

As a proof of concept for his long term work in progress “The Pac-Machina” (an electro-mechanical reimagining of a Pac-Man cabinet), [Jonathan] needed some way to make a mechanical Pac-Man, flappy jaw and all. After working through a couple different design possibilities, he decided on an interesting setup which includes using a cog with only half its teeth to make the mouth open and close. Unfortunately, NAMCO BANDAI has asked him nicely not to sell these as kits, but he has helpfully included just about all that is required to make one of these from scratch. [Jonathan] even cut and laser etched his own faux-Victorian frame to keep his proof of concept Pac-Man ready until needed for the main project.

16 thoughts on “Pactuator: Mechanical Pac-Man Frame

  1. NAMCO BANDAI in great worry for the potential income they’ll lose and the great harm this will do to the franchise.

    Translation: NAMCO BANDAI are humorless dicks.

    Beautiful work.
    A tribute like this should be celebrated, as opposed to suppressed.

  2. Wow, that’s a beautiful and inspiring piece of Art there! LOVE IT! Namco Bandai can go suck a lemon! You’d probably be alright if you didn’t call it PAC-MAN, but rather something like MECH-MAN. Add a crank handle to keep it flowing smoothly and it’s a wrap!

  3. Oh yeah, this is certainly going to cost NAMCO BANDAI a lot of money for something like this to be sold. NAMCO BANDAI are a bunch of dicks!

    Wow, this is certainly something clever. You can not help but think he would have done very nicely in a steam punk setting.

  4. I’m very interested in how he plans to move the characters around. He mentions a two axis gantry, but there are 5 moving objects. How will he deal with overlap?

  5. I can almost picture the scene in my mind: busy suits with lots of papers in a roomy, modern office around a table;

    -”Ok, what’s next?” – the mid-level-suit in his forties at the end of the table asks;
    -”Uh, there’s this guy we found thinking about selling kits of a mechanical pac-man action figure – it looks like a rather clever thing… shall we fire off a cease and desist warning?” – his assistant chimes in helpfully
    -”Commercial scale? Since when is he doing it?”
    -”Uh, no sir, probably just a couple of units, and he didn’t sell any as of yet”
    -”Can’t we just look the other way and give the guy a pass, I mean he sounds like a hobbist, some fan, if his stuff is good how can this be bad for us?” – someone from the side interrupts; gets a stern look from The Man and disapproving silence from his peers
    -”If we start looking the other way for every time when, prey tell, should we stop? If we don’t protect our IP and brand integrity every step of the way we’d project an impression of weakness, and as I’m sure even you know, weakness in business is always fatal. Is that really what you suggest we do…?”
    -”No sir, of course not…” – the embarrassed suit replies
    -”So sic the legals on him and stop wasting my time! Next issue?”

  6. While it sucks people, it’s trademark protection. As far I as understood, in the US, if you don’t protect your trademark you lose it.

  7. @Max that should read
    -”if we start looking the other way, we lose the legal protection for our trademark. Let’s politely ask him to stop; we don’t want to look like dicks, do we?”

    IP laws in the US are an awful maze, but that part of trademark law is pretty clear. Just ask xerox, klenex, asprin, band-aids . . .

  8. Thanks, Hack-a-day-ers! The comments here have been the nicest and most supportive, and the traffic from here have generated more comments and suggestions on my site than all other sources of traffic combined! You guys are awesome!

    @Ryan: There is going to be a separate gantry for each of the 5 objects. Each will be in a slightly different plane, so that they will be able to pass freely over and under each other.

    Regarding Namco: I’m with Daid and Quin. Unfortunately, they don’t have a choice but to defend their IP. However, they *could* grant me a license; unfortunately, though, the internal politics of a multi-national corporation (U.S. office enforces the licenses, but Japan grants them) means that it just isn’t going to happen.

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