WWII’s top cryptography comes to a child’s toy

This toy has some upgraded internals that turn it into an Enigma machine. We absolutely love the idea, as it takes a toy that your child may have grown out of, and uses it to provide teachable moments dealing with both history and mathematics. But who are we kidding? We want to make one just because it’s a fun project.

[Sketch] grabbed this toy from a thrift store because it has a full keyboard that he can use to make his own machine. It’s powered by an Arduino, with a four-line character LCD display taking the place of the original. His post covers the methods he used to figure out the keyboard wiring, and also contains a cursory overview of how the Enigma Machine functions. See a video of the finished project after the break.

If this wet your appetite, also check out the paper Enigma Machine we covered during Hackaday’s first year.


  1. Chris says:

    Its a hilarious idea that a child’s toy can be transformed into the NAZI’s ultimate code machine… good job

  2. supershwa says:

    @Chris — actually, the NAZI’s ultimate code machine was transformed into a child’s toy. ;)

    Should put these into production — the more smart toys kids have, the more intelligent they’ll be later in life. Cool hack.

  3. Hunter says:

    See this is what happens when the NSA and FisherPrice get together.

  4. Editor says:

    whet* your appetite.

  5. rusty says:

    the cow said: spill the blood of the innocent

  6. Peter says:

    Don’t depend on it for your top secret communications: http://www.bletchleypark.org.uk/

    And send those folks a donation!

  7. flapjackboy says:
  8. Hirudinea says:
  9. strider_mt2k says:

    Just be sure to throw it out of your submarine if you get boarded.

  10. Spork says:

    Hahaha, HaD readers are especially punny today. Thanks for the laugh.

    A friend of mine wrote the Enigma Machine in java for a final project. It was great!

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