Life meter gives a real life measure of video game health

water-light-health-bar

This hack makes the virtual real by displaying your video game character’s health meter as a column of illuminated water.

The build video, which you’ll find embedded after the break, is really quite remarkable. The column is a clear piece of pipe anchored at one end by hand-tightened plumbing drain fittings. This allows [Bfayer] to attach a flexible bladder which he constructed for the project. An actuator pushes a hinged board up against the bladder to raise and lower the water level in the tube.

Alone that’s pretty impressive, but [Bfayer] went the extra mile and then some. He uses a four-way fitting at the bottom of the meter. One fork connects to the bladder, another allows air to be injected using an aquarium pump. The bottom of the fitting has a clear window so that an RGB LED array can shine into the water which was doped with highlighter ink to pick up the colored glow. To pull the whole thing together he coded the custom control interface seen above.

[via Reddit]

43 thoughts on “Life meter gives a real life measure of video game health

    1. Doped with highlighter ink to pick up the uv and fluoresce, tonic water works quite similar. The bubbles add a lot to picking up the colour.

      1. watter is very heavy … constant change in flow and that has all the weight directly over it
        not to mention epoxy can only take so much changes in stress

        1. Epoxy is used all the time for these kinds of things. Furthermore, if you looked at how the window is installed, you’d see the pressure is pushing the window against the fitting it was glued to. Finally, if that tube were 10 ft tall and full, the water would only be exerting 4.3 psi — you can seal that with your hand.

  1. This has moved up to the top of my project list. Very well done! The response time is impressive. The durability of the bag would be my only concern.

    1. I have half an idea it’d be better to use a bladder that variably fills with air, to displace water up and down the tube. That way the water isn’t held in a bag, it’s held in a solid tank at the bottom. If the bag breaks it just means the machine stops working, rather than flooding anything.

    1. thats what i was thinking. i am thinking 7 of them. and in-between them putting a steady stream of water in a tube, with a speaker next to the stream, so you can see it… i don’t know how that would work thoe.

  2. I love this.. I have been wanting to spruce up my office/battlestation.. going to build some lighted movie poster boxes to house some game posters… This would be awesome to mount under my desk so just the tube comes through.. I see he used an tconfig to get the health level from terraria.. but do the major game engines have a way to hook into them for this kind of information? or would I have to make profiles for each game I play and figure out where the health level is stored in RAM and monitor it there?

    1. You could also make screenshots and figure out the amount of health by looking at the pixels or using ocr. Might not be as fast, but fast enough.

  3. Awesome stuff!

    But I can’t believe nobody asked that yet: What’s the name of the game in the video? :)

  4. Awesome… Can make it link to your bank and show how close to the red you are. For a video game its kind of hard to look away from the screen to see it, good visual in a game room, I would still do it. make it so your chair is at the right comfortable height when you have full health, and drop your seat as you loose health, this will make it really noticeable when you need to get health. plus autoit and pixelsearch function(to see if there is a color a certain spot), possible to get banned)

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