FPGA Snake game uses no VHDL at all

We’re really not supposed to start a feature like this; but this hack is awesome. It’s a game of Snake implemented by an FPGA dev board. It uses a 16×16 LED matrix as the display and an SNES controller for input. So far it sounds like a very normal version of the game. But as you start to hear how it works in the presentation after the break you fall in love with what’s going on here.

First of all, it’s not written in VHDL — the predominant programming language for FPGAs. Instead, [Darrell] used the schematic-only approach to build the logic. Okay, that’s starting to get more interesting. As he continues to explain the circuit we get to see how the control input works (pretty simple since the SNES controller uses a parallel-to-serial shift register) and how the display is multiplexed. But the actual game logic is where things really take off. Each pixel in the display has its own individual logic circuit. Basically every cell is its own processor which reacts both to what is passed into it, as well as to a random seed. That seed system is called the ‘bucket brigade’ and passes a chance to spawn a piece of food from one cell to the next. All of this together makes for one simple game that is eloquently executed. [Read more...]

Snake-bot gives us the mechanical heevy-jeevies

Basilisk? Nope, just your run-of-the-mill giant serpentine robot build. This build aims to recreate Titanoboa, a prehistoric snake which measured more than fifty feet long and weighted over a ton. They’re well on their way to completing the goal, as what you see above is fully operational, lacking only cosmetic niceties which would only serve to make the beast less horrifying.

The video after the shows the snake getting round an open space, presumably at the eatArt headquarters in Vancouver. You may remember the team from one of their other builds also featured in that clip, the Mondo Spider. Eventually, the snake will have a rider just like the spider does, sitting in a saddle mounted just behind the head. There’s few details about the hardware, but we know it’s hydraulic, and that they raised $10k to make the build possible.

For some reason seeing these bots interact gives us flashbacks to childhood cartoons. Is it possible the eatArt crew has been watching too many old G.I. Joe cartoons and the like?

[Read more...]

Hackaday links: October 4, 2011

Playing Snake on a MIDI controller

While you’re waiting for your bandmates to finish arguing/making out/their beer, you can play Snake on your MIDI controller. Luis wrote a Snake game for an Akai APC40 controller. Everything is built with Processing and should provide a great distraction from (for?) your 14-year-old groupies.

Cheap & simple PCB holder

[Robert] sent in a tip for a very simple PCB holder. Take a neo magnet, embed it in oven-hardening modeling clay, and use it on a steel worktop. Check out the pics he sent in (1, 2). It’s too simple not to work.

Lose weight by running people over

[binaryhead] is using a stationary bicycle to play Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. (Spanish, Google translate here). A pot and magnet/reed switch is connected to an Arduino that outputs keys to San Andreas. There’s no word on an ambulance simulator yet.

Giant Android tablet

[Martin Draskov] made a 23 inch Android tablet. He used off the shelf parts (multitouch monitor and a small PC) with the x86 Android port. There’s a video that doesn’t include Angry Birds. Sad, that.

T-shirt bleaching for the modern fabricator

With t-shirt bleaching, you can put a custom design on clothes without a screen printing setup. Reddit user [Admiral_Noosenbaum] used a CNC machine to make templates. Now if only we can find an .SGV file of Che Guevara. Video here.

Playing snake with a TV remote

[vinod] sent in his replica of a Snake game, the game to play on old Nokia dumb phones.

The build is based on a PIC16F877 microcontroller just like previous Snake builds we’ve seen, but [vinod] didn’t use physical buttons in his build. Instead, he used a Philips infrared TV remote to control the game. The infrared controller only takes up one pin on the microcontroller, as opposed to the 4 pins of the easiest four button setup. [vinod] also threw in a simple one-transistor level converter so Snake can be played with a PC via RS-232. With the PIC code included in the build, it’s a great build that reminds us of a more civilized age.

The video of [vinod]‘s snake game in action is posted after the break, but we noticed that the snake is allowed to ‘warp around’ the sides of the LED matrix. Some people might consider that cheating but that can be fixed by changing a few lines of code.

[Read more...]

Snake bot climbs trees

While you are out enjoying your Labor Day festivities, keep an eye out for robot snakes in the trees. The CMU robotics lab has built a snake bot named Uncle Sam that can climb trees and poles. As you can see in the video after the break, the bot seems to have no problem at all scaling a tree. It wraps itself around the tree, then rotates down the center of its entire body. Once it has reached the top, it can take in the scenery. Though it is a little creepy looking, at least it isn’t in the water.

[Read more...]

Links expanded: Snake on LED matrix

[Yosh] came through with a link to the Snake playing LED matrix that he read about in our links post from yesterday. It seems that [Arty Fart] actually built three of these in green, yellow, and red. You can see him throw one together (an 8-10 hour job) in the video after the break. In addition to playing Snake the PIC 16F877A can also scroll messages, play a mean game of Tetris, and show a Pong screen saver on the 144 LED display. We love the clean build and the urge to make another LED matrix is becoming irresistible.

Now off to eBay for a good deal on a bulk LED order. [Read more...]

Hackaday links: June 27, 2010

Precision CRT manufacture

Here’s a great video from Tektronix about building a precision cathode ray tube. The tube manufacture method was developed to use in oscilloscopes and we’d guess it dates back to the early 1960′s. [Thanks Bill]

Snake on an LED matrix

We would have done a full post o this beautifully built LED matrix but we just couldn’t find much information on it. For now, enjoy the video of the device playing the classic game of Snake. [Thanks Xdr]

Wire bundling

We’re not sure if this is brilliant or just snake oil. Here’s a method of bundling wires together by twisting them with an electric drill. We’ve always just used our hands but we’ve never really worked in any kind of volume either. [Thanks Kacper]