Super Mario coin block lamp is a Nintendo fanboy’s dream come true

super_mario_coin_block_lamp

[Laurence] was racking his brain coming up with potential birthday gifts for his friend when the idea of a Super Mario Bros. coin block lamp popped into his head. The block is constructed from drain pipe, a few pieces of plywood, some perspex, and a whole lot of awesome.

He wanted the lamp to make sounds when it was turned on and off, so he put together an audio circuit based on [LadyAda’s] WaveShield. His design is similar, though he swapped out the DIP packages for SOIC versions, adding a DAC, Op amp, and an audio buffer to fit his needs.

Once he had his electronics in order, he started construction of the lamp, painting the drain pipe green and mounting it under his light’s base. He built a large perspex box to serve as the coin block itself, printing the familiar graphics on tracing paper which he then glued into place. An arcade button adorns the top of the box, making for a very appropriate and fun light switch.

Be sure to check out the video below to see the lamp in action. We’re just a bit jealous of [Laurence’s] friend, and we sure wouldn’t mind having one of these in our office to sit alongside this mechanical coin block we featured a while back.

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Retro video games sounds…for your toilet

super_mario_toilet

After reading about a Super Mario Brothers themed bathroom, [Jonathan] decided that it would be pretty cool to have his toilet play the “warp pipe” sound whenever anyone flushed.

He grabbed a small sound drop key chain on eBay and disassembled it to see how things worked. Once he figured out which solder pads corresponded to the warp pipe sound he added a few wires that, when shorted, trigger the sound effect.

He debated as to how the sound generator should be wired to the toilet, and was pretty reluctant to place the key chain inside the tank due to concerns about sound volume and water damage. He ultimately decided to trigger the sound effects using triboelectric charge, much like those touch lamps from the ’80s. He rigged up a simple circuit that is connected to both the toilet handle as well as the water intake valve on the wall. When someone touches the handle, the small charge that is present in their hand triggers the sound effect as you can see in the video below.

Instead of using a standard project box, he opted to build a small warp tube replica from cardboard and paper, which really brings everything together nicely.

While he says that the circuit is pretty sensitive, triggering at odd times or not at all, we still think it’s awesome.

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Real life Super Mario coin block

mario_coin_block

Instructables user [Bruno] recently constructed a fun little toy that brings a bit of the Mario nostalgia out of the video game universe and into ours. His Super Mario coin block is instantly recognizable from the first Mario game and performs just as you would expect it to. Punching or tapping the bottom of the block releases coins one at a time, complete with sounds straight from the game.

The coin block is constructed from thick cardboard and wrapped in color mock ups of the in-game block. Inside, a spring-loaded tube of coins is placed above a launch arm which is also connected to a spring. A servo actuated arm pulls the launch arm down, dropping a coin from its tube on to the launch arm which is then flung from the top of the box once the servo arm rotates far enough. When this occurs, the built-in MP3 player is triggered to play the “coin sound” from the game. A 555 timer is used to ensure the servo actuated arm rotates once per activation, and a LM386-based amplifier is used to increase the output volume of the MP3 player, both of which operate using rechargeable batteries.

Be sure to check out some of the inner workings as well as the final product in the videos embedded below.

[Thanks, Samjc3]

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Backwards Mario

So you’ve long since mastered Super Mario Bros. and it no longer challenges you? Have you tried playing it from right to left? That’s what Backwards Mario is all about. The first portion of the hack is getting the image to display backwards. He’s working with an old CRT television, which uses a magnetic ring to aim the electron gun at the screen. By swapping the left and right wires from that ring you can flip the image horizontally. Now Mario will be travelling right to left, but the controller buttons will send Mario the wrong direction on screen. This is a snap to fix, just crack open the controller and swap the signals for the left and right buttons. Now it’s time to fall in love with the classic game all over again, just like [JJ’s] doing in the video after the break.

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AI via Super Mario evolution

Can Super Mario teach you to think? That’s the idea behind using a simple version of the game to teach artificial intelligence. [Oddball] calls this The Mario Genome and wrote at program that can take on the level with just two controls, right and jump. He gave the script 1000 Marios to run through the level. It then eliminates the 500 least successful and procreates back to 1000 using the 500 most successful. In this way the program completed the level in 1935 generations and completed it in the quickest possible time in 7705 generations. He’s posted the script for download so that you can try it yourself. It’s an interesting exercise we’d love to see applied to more random games, like Ms. Pac-Man.

[via Reddit]

EyeMario, play mario with your eye movements

The folks at Waterloo Labs have delivered a quite amusing project where they built a system to control Mario with eye movements. Unlike the other eye movement systems we’ve seen that use imaging to detect where you are looking, this one is using electrodes on muscles in your face. Not only do they supply a fairly amusing video, they also have a pretty good amount of detail on the project site. Be sure to click on the links in the “additional resources” section at the bottom if you want hardware and software details on the build. The last time we saw these folks, they were using real guns to control video games.

[via Procrastineering]

Hackaday links: January 14th, 2010

We saw this home made beekeepers hood posted and actually mistook it for an art piece. We thought it was a Super Mario squid. You can see an example on this image, which is located on a site dedicated to cross stitching video game characters.

In an odd coincidence, not related to the 8 bit textiles above, we also found this Mario themed sweater. We wouldn’t wear it, but we’d love to see Wil Wheaton in it.

No. No no no. Bad Scientists. No treat for you.

There are 4 more links after the break, you’ll want to see them to get that baby out of your head.

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