Large version of Operation isn’t much easier than the original

Last weekend at the Detroit Maker Faire, the folks at the Lansing Makers Network brought a large-scale version of the classic electronic board game Operation.

MegOperation, as the Lansing hackerspace calls their build, is a gigantic printout of the chronically ill guy from Operation plastered onto a sheet of plywood. Wire loops surround each incision to detect when a surgeon’s unsteady hand when retrieving unnecessary body parts. These wire loops are connected to an Arduino that regulates the bell and light-up nose the team didn’t quite have time to finish.

Even though the team used an Arduino for their large-scale version of Operation – a game that doesn’t require any electronics besides a battery, wire, and buzzer – breaking out each body part to a separate Arduino pin seems pretty smart. A processing app keeps track of the time elapsed for each operation and can detect when the wire surrounding a particular incision is touched, perfect for competitive Operation play.


  1. Frank Cohen says:

    An Arduino, of course.

  2. Pete says:

    This was my favorite thing I saw at Maker Faire Detroit this year.

  3. Hirudinea says:

    I hear they use the same thing at Johns Hopkins.

  4. mindofamind says:

    I know the guy who made this – took a lot of love! Glad the Lansing Makers Network gets some love from Hackaday! So cool!!

  5. Blixa Morgan says:

    I remember years ago in elementary school, seeing something very similar. no arduino of course, but it’s cool to see the idea again.

  6. wardy says:

    Bringing Tomophobia to a new generation :D

    I like the faithful reproduction of the original graphic – great retro look.

  7. Jesse Congdon says:

    Hey, wait a second… We have one of those here:


  8. Anka06 says:

    Great idea!

  9. metis says:

    i’m partial to ‘s build method from a few years back using metal tape rather than the coat hangers, but MegOperation is awfully pretty.

    • wreality says:

      I like it! We considered metal tape when we realized we weren’t going to be able to replicate the original, but opted against it because we were worried about needing to adjust the shapes for difficulty (if the game ended up being too easy or too difficult), but it looks like it worked swimmingly on the TC build. (

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