Head-to-head mountain climbing from the safety of your game room

Why risk frostbite and altitude sickness when you can marvel at the view from atop your own mountain climbing game?

[Jeff] built this delightful piece which you can see in action after the break. he combined several very simple ideas and he did it really well. The climbers are both mechanical. They grip the mountain’s face (which is covered with of carpet) with a tack pointed downward on the end of each limb. Their motion is provided by two tiny servos that make up the body of the climber. The two potentiometers in each controller directly affect the movement of the top and bottom limbs. The game plays music during the contest, and precisely detects a winner by sensing when an arm comes in contact with the metal snow cap at the summit.

Obviously weight was an issue during the design process. After some hemming and hawing [Jeff] decided to tether the climbers in order to avoid rolling a battery into each. But he overcame the issue with weighted cable management on the inside of the mountain.

[Thanks Morgan via Make]



  1. Limey says:

    :O , this is brilliant, I want one on my bedroom wall XD.

  2. Brian says:

    What an awesome little game! Looks like it is pretty fun and works amazingly well, nice build!

  3. Roberto says:

    For one, I salute our new meatspace video game overlords.

  4. rob says:

    That’s an awesome project! Great work. Do you have enough control of the characters to climb around an object on the face of the course?

  5. Limey says:

    I just had a cool idea, what if the carpet was on a roller (like a conveyorbelt or treadmill) and there were obstacles attached randomly along the carpet by some sort of mechanism that you had to avoid? And you had to survive for as long as possible without either being too slow and falling off the bottom or getting knocked off by the obstacles.

  6. Mike says:

    That’s an awesome song.

  7. Setatx says:

    @Limey, I 2nd that!

  8. threeck says:

    Loved the BG music. I was laughing and amazed at the same time..:)) this is a great build

  9. Alex says:

    Wow, I’m surprised by how well this works. I couldn’t see myself playing it a whole lot, but it’s a very cool project.

  10. liebesiech says:


  11. Drake says:

    Coolness … more like this please!

  12. lance says:

    nice! I get the idea that tweaking the climbers makes a huge difference… so I can imagine it’s tough to have two completely similar climbers for head to head racing. Still, I know my friends would get a hoot playing one of these!

  13. Hirudinea says:

    This game is just crying out for a kinect user interface.

  14. Rioexxo says:


  15. Robby says:

    This would bring “The Price Is Right”‘s climbing game to a whole new level.

  16. that1guy says:

    I also thought of the Price Is Right, lol. Really really cool. I think it would be even better with some small obstacles placed strategically around the course. You might need a way of moving horizontally though, in the even of getting stuck below an obstacle. Still, fantastic job and it actually looks fun to play.

  17. [oceans76] says:

    Cool project but it needs more yodel.

  18. Richard says:

    That looks like a whole heap of fun, both to build and play.

    I do foresee a problem in this particular house though… we have a cat, and he’s sure to join in!

    Brilliant hack, respect. :-)

  19. woutervddn says:

    Well, if I can convince my roommate.. :D muhahahahaha

  20. Warndog says:

    haha wow it’s like QWOP, but for running and in RL. nice :D

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