[Vadim] was feeling a bit bored at work one day and dreamed up this rather odd project. He had a spare LED matrix handy, and thought, “I should build a giant Tamagotchi…” and so he did.
In case you’re not aware, Tamagotchi’s were digital pets introduced in the late 90’s. You had to feed them, play with them and even train them — attempting to teach the responsibility of having a real pet. It was a bit of a fad, and to be honest, they were really quite annoying — but that didn’t stop [Vadim] wanting to make his own!
He’s using an ATmega328P with the Arduino boot loader at the heart of this project. The LED matrix is made of a group of four 8×8 LED modules with four shift registers (74HC595) and two Darlington transistor arrays to take the current — This is because the 256 LEDs need to be multiplexed down to 32 IO’s (16 rows + 16 columns).
Once the hardware was all done, he started coding — he’s actually coded the entire game from scratch, and while it’s not that complex it’s still an impressive amount of effort that went into this desktop sized Tamagotchi!
To see it in action, stick around after the break.
To learn more about hacking a Tamagotchi, there’s an excellent talk about how to reverse engineer it that we covered a few years ago.