Pacman Proves Due is More than Uno

If you’re wondering what the difference is between the good ol’ Arduino Uno and one of the new-school Arduinos like the Arduino Due, here’s a very graphic example: [DrNCX] has written a stunning Pacman clone for the Due that seems to play just like the arcade. (Video embedded below the break.)

001The comparison between the Uno and Due isn’t quite fair. The Due runs on an 84 MHz, 32 bit ARM Cortex-M3 processor. It’s in a different league from the Uno. Still, we view this as an example of the extended possibilities from stepping up into a significantly faster micro. For instance, the video is output to both an ILI9341 TFT screen and external 8-bit VGA at once.

Besides using some very nice (standard) libraries for the parts, it doesn’t look like [DrNCX] had to resort to any particular trickery — just a lot of gamer-logic coding. All the code is up on GitHub for you to check out.

Can the old Arduinos do this? For comparison, the best Pacman we’ve seen on an AVR platform is the ATmega328-based RetroWiz, although it is clocked twice as fast as a stock Uno. And then there’s Hackaday Editor [Mike Szczys]’s 1-Pixel Pacman, but that’s cheating because it uses a Teensy 3.1, which is another fast ARM chip. People always ask where the boundary between an 8-bit and 32-bit project lies. Is a decent Pacman the litmus test?

Continue reading “Pacman Proves Due is More than Uno”

Pac-Man Clock Eats Time, Not Pellets

[Bob’s] Pac-Man clock is sure to appeal to the retro geek inside of us all. With a tiny display for the time, it’s clear that this project is more about the art piece than it is about keeping the time. Pac-Man periodically opens and closes his mouth at random intervals. The EL wire adds a nice glowing touch as well.

The project runs off of a Teensy 2.0. It’s a small and inexpensive microcontroller that’s compatible with Arduino. The Teensy uses an external real-time clock module to keep accurate time. It also connects to a seven segment display board via Serial. This kept the wiring simple and made the display easy to mount. The last major component is the servo. It’s just a standard servo, mounted to a customized 3D printed mounting bracket. When the servo rotates in one direction the mouth opens, and visa versa. The frame is also outlined with blue EL wire, giving that classic Pac-Man look a little something extra.

The physical clock itself is made almost entirely from wood. [Bob] is clearly a skilled wood worker as evidenced in the build video below. The Pac-Man and ghosts are all cut on a scroll saw, although [Bob] mentions that he would have 3D printed them if his printer was large enough. Many of the components are hot glued together. The electronics are also hot glued in place. This is often a convenient mounting solution because it’s relatively strong but only semi-permanent.

[Bob] mentions that he can’t have the EL wire and the servo running at the same time. If he tries this, the Teensy ends up “running haywire” after a few minutes. He’s looking for suggestions, so if you have one be sure to leave a comment. Continue reading “Pac-Man Clock Eats Time, Not Pellets”

Turning the Wii Classic Controller into a gaming rig

A bit of clever design lets you mount a screen and gaming hardware right on this controller. [Valentin Ivanov] had already been using the Wii Classic Controller Pro as an input for his Gadgeteer-based projects. He wanted a way to marry the project board, display, and controller into one single unit.

We’re huge fans the design because it doesn’t require any alteration of the controller. Instead, five carefully designed pieces were cut from some thin plywood. They lock together into an assembly that embraces the top of the controller while providing plenty of mounting options for the prototyping hardware thanks to a large grid of holes. A couple of pieces of bronze rod lock the mounting bracket in place by keying into the screw holes in the bottom of the controller.

In the image above you can see Mini Pacman running on the rig. It’s now nearly portable, only relying on a barrel jack for power but we’re sure a battery pack could stand in if necessary.

AVGA: The AVR based video game platform


We’ve seen our fair share of AVR projects, but this one’s pretty cool. AVGA is a color video game development platform based on the Atmel AVR family of microcontrollers. As seen in the picture above, one of the AVRs that the project uses is the popular ATMega168. There were several technical hurdles to using the AVRs to run color video games; one of the most difficult problems was figuring out a way to display detailed graphics from AVRs limited onboard RAM. Eventually, the developers figured out a way to display detailed graphics using a TILE-based driver. The TILE driver works by dividing the screen into X and Y coordinates, dividing the graphics into tiles. Then, when a graphic is needed it’s addressed from a reference table that’s stored in the AVR’s onboard RAM, allowing the bitmap graphic to be loaded from a game’s ROM. Currently, the only games available for the platform are a Super Mario clone, a Pacman clone, and a Snake clone. While there are only a few games available, the platform definitely looks promising. If anything, this project serves as a great example for what off the shelf microcontrollers are capable of.

Pac-Man portable

This is another fine project to come out of the benheck forums. [sam_thornley] built this portable game system last Fall. It uses the guts of a JAKKS Namco TV arcade stick. The composite signal from the board is connected to a 2.5″ Intec screen with a CCFL backlight. Four rechargable AA batteries are in the case for 2.5 hours of play. It doesn’t have sound, but he says the TV games’ sound pales to the original anyway. It’s certainly a nice compact build in a regular project box.

[via Engadget]

Roomba Pac-Man

[Ron Tajima] fashioned a Pac-Man casemod for his Roomba using 448 LEDs and a SH2 MPU control unit. It features the correct arcade sounds and even the death animation. The bot has Bluetooth access thanks to his previous Wiimote hack. He hopes to use this platform to create a real world version of the game.

For more Roomba hacking, check out the Hacking Roomba book and our previous Roomba related posts.

[via Geekdad]