FlowFree goes life sized at Maker Faire NY

Maker Faire 2013SetupWillow Glen MakersTeam PathfinderFlow*26

What began as a smartphone game turned into a Maker Faire New York 2013 project for the [Willow Glen Makers]. FlowX26 is a life sized version of the game FlowFree. [The Willow Glen Makers] wanted to build an extendable, easy to set up grid of floor tiles to emulate the game. A CNC machine was employed to create a plywood framework. Not visible in the picture is the fact that each cross member is cut slightly concave.  This concavity allows the clear plastic top to deflect just enough to activate a micro switch inside the tile. The switch sends a signal to the tile’s Arduino Mega controller. The Mega then uses this data to control an array of RGB LEDs.

The next problem was interconnection and communication between the tiles. [The Makers] used copper tape, along with a 3D Printed latch system between each tile side. Six connections per side allow power and data to be transmitted throughout the grid.

While the hardware for the grid is up and running, the software is still underway. Here at Maker Faire, the grid was running a basic demo. Each tile was normally red.  When a person stepped on a tile it would fade to green. Once the weight was removed, the tile would slowly switch back to red. This proved more than enough to keep the kids at the Maker Faire entertained. At any given time there were several children stepping from tile to tile, while watching their footsteps fade behind them.

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