The Pac-Man Bus Stop For Gamers at Heart

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Waiting for the bus can be drag. You never know exactly when it will come, always looking down the road hoping to spot the vehicle as it turns a corner. When it doesn’t show up right away, the result is usually staring down at a ‘smart’ phone checking it for any incoming messages. Directing the attention up might produce a list of estimated arrival times and maybe even a map showing the routes that are taken throughout the day. But there is only one bus stop in the entire world, that we know of, where people can play Pac-Man while they watch for the bus to arrive.

It was created by the combining efforts of two maker communities in town. Norwegian Creations and Trondheim Makers teamed up to build an interactive gaming display that gave individuals the ability to pass the time by directing the famous video gaming character around a blue maze, eating yellow pellets and avoiding colorful ghosts along the way. This display was also made to raise awareness for the upcoming Trondheim Maker Faire that year. They choose Pac-Man as the foundation and integrated a slightly modified invention kit called Makey Makey with a Raspberry Pi running RetroPie into the actual frame of the bus stop. The people involved must have had some serious business connections in order to get approval for that. They figuratively hacked into the bus stop’s power grid gaining the necessary 230 volts required to energize the custom gaming unit. Once hooked up, anyone standing by could play Pac-Man until the bus came. [Ragnar] at Norwegian Creations told us in an email that future ideas of theirs include syncing up several stops that can communicate with each other, which could lead to some great multiplayer interactions. They also have a fantastic video that they uploaded that shows the building process of their current design. Check that out below, and let us know what other types of games you would like to see at a bus stop near you.

 

Comments

  1. No Hack says:

    it certainly is cool!

  2. etopsirhc says:

    the the average gamer this is great, but for some one like my mom this would be the worst thing ever. she’d miss the bus countless times while plying it. (pac addict)

  3. Greenaum says:

    Every bus driver I ever encountered would gladly drive straight past a customer playing a game like this. Joyfully, gleefully, even.

    Depending on how clever the bus stops are, it would be helpful to have an “approaching no 62 bus” message appear on the screen. In the worst case I suppose you could detect a bus running over tubes a few metres ahead of the stop. Maybe by vehicle length or weight since many busses tend to be fibreglass, so a magnetic signature wouldn’t be much use.

  4. reipoom says:

    I’d say use an optical based sensor. That way some punk doesn’t rip off your foil controller, and you’re not sending electrical current through random strangers bodies (lawsuit waiting to happen in usa)

  5. sneakypoo says:

    Man, I’ve been here at the Maker Faire for two days and I haven’t seen it. That’s the bad thing about working at these events, you don’t get to see all the other cool stuff :( It’s been lots of fun talking to people for two days straight though :)

  6. Missouri says:

    The Pac-Man bus stop could actually make the tedious process of waiting for a bus a little more fun. I was a major Pac-Man fan once upon a time.

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