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.
Continue reading “Real life Super Mario coin block”
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.
Continue reading “Backwards Mario”
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.
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.
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.
Continue reading “Hackaday links: January 14th, 2010”
Hacklab’s laser cutter got the customary musical treatment. You can see it play the theme from mario brothers here. It’s nothing new to us, but we still enjoy seeing it done.
Ever been curious how a pole transformer is made? Quench that curiosity with this educational video. [via HackedGadets]
Here’s a quasi humanoid robot that is designed to be your workout trainer. He’ll show you the exercises, give you motivational and encouraging pep talks and even play games with you. We think the idea sounds good, but in execution, he flails his arms and randomly says creepy insincere sounding things like “I’m having fun. I could play this game all day long. I’m having too much fun.” That’s just creepy.
[Mr. Nelson] got sick of walking all the way down the hall just to see if there was anyone in the bathroom. His solution was to build this massively overdone indicator light system. It uses a proximity sensor located in each bathroom to determine occupied status and has a fantastic industrial look.
If you’ve ever wanted to get into 3d photography you’ll be pleased to see this writeup on how to build a simple rig and compile the images for different viewing methods.
We were amazed by these beautifully crafted brass machines. The one in this video is solar powered and seems to run pretty smoothly. Not bad for something that was all hand crafted from sheets of brass.
Be careful with this one folks. This video shows how to melt a beer bottle in your microwave. We’re not sure why you would want to, but we sure enjoyed watching it happen. Maybe that’s reason enough.
In the video above, [conquerearth] is using a theremin to control Super Mario Bros. Moving his hand toward and away from the vertical antenna increases the theremin’s pitch. The computer monitors this in real time and moves Mario left and right. The loop antenna controls the theremin’s volume and acts as the jump button. The controls seem to work well, much better than the sound of one man flailing at a theremin.