Makey Makey Made Smaller

When it launched in 2012, the Makey Makey was the golden child of the maker movement. It was a simple, easy to use board with holes for alligator clips and a USB socket that would present capacitive touch pads as a USB HID device. Thus, the banana piano was born.

The Makey Makey is a device specifically designed to introduce kids to electronics in a way the Arduino can’t match; even with an Arduino, most of the work is with code. If you’re introducing electronics to a class of 10-year-olds, that might be a bit too much.

Now there’s a new Makey Makey on the block. It’s the Makey Makey Go, and it’s the same user experience as the Makey Makey classic made cheaper and much more rugged.

The Makey Makey Go features a single touch pad to clamp an alligator clip to. That’s enough to send any keypress or a mouse click over USB, where a wide variety of apps and games can make this tiny thumb drive-sized board useful. Banana pianos are out, and plant harps and Jello Flappy Bird are in.

There aren’t many details about the internals of the Makey Makey Go, but [Jay] from Makey Makey says the prototypes are based on the ATMega32u4, while the production units will use cheaper chips. Video below.

Speaking of Kickstarters for equipment we’re familiar with, Arduboy just launched one this morning. It takes the credit-card-sized console we saw a year ago and adds proper buttons, as well as a metal back plate and polycarbonate face plate.

17 thoughts on “Makey Makey Made Smaller

  1. It looks like it has 3 buttons, so why is only one of them actually a button? It would rather see 3 functional buttons, then the pinball example would be real pinball instead of a one-legged man in an arse kicking contest.

    1. It is very limiting to only have a single input. The same form factor but several inputs would be much better. The other 2 buttons are something to do with configuration but it mainly seems to be trying to avoid adding actual switches. They can get away with a big round conductive dot instead that is just part of the PCB.

      The claim that you’ll be wearing this as jewelery or keeping it on your keyring is a bit silly as well but it fits in with the rest of the over the top hype for this dongle. It would be a neat tool for specific situations but not something you’re going to want to wear or carry all the time for the vast majority of people. A regular makey makey but smaller is what I’d want.

      1. I was thinking couldn’t you just use a micro controller such as an Arduino or Pic and a hid library so it acts like a keyboard?
        Or even just rip the circuit board out of a USB keyboard and add a few analog components to alter the inputs to suit what you need.

  2. Needs a USB extension cable… having this plugged directly into the port seems like a good way to loosen the solder joints on the motherboard. Even the pressure from those clips with no strain relief cant be healthy much less young kids inserting said clips without removing the device from the port.

    Just an observation.

    1. A lot of gadgets recently seem to get breathless promotion(not a HaD thing, seeing it all over) – yet have this simple issue… They look like little levers designed to destroy laptops to me!

  3. I bet a smart individual could single handedly take all of HaD’s money if he took a simple stick out of his yard and tied an arduino to it. All he needs is one of the following – A funny or foreign sounding name (both if he’s cheating), un-natural hair, a nose piercing, sleeve tattoos, a fedora or beret, a “top knot”, or a handle bar mustache.

    Arduino on a stick! (feel your wallet loosen?)

    And it’d be more useful than this thing….

  4. The Makey Makey GO is $19 at Kickstarter. Why is it that expensive? The old version was released 3 years ago. By now I’d expected whatever technology it used to have become dirt cheap and to see smaller clone dongles of it for $3 bucks or something in that ballpark. Is the $19 just a very large markup or is there actually some component needed that necessitates that cost?

  5. dee you forget the makey makey when released originally was a grossly overpriced 50 bucks. 20 bucks is at least someone better since they do need to earn some profit after packaging,promotion,etc

  6. Does it only have 2 directions up and down? they stripped it from 4 directions, I’d have included the 4 directions and allow for more controller inputs bumpers,triggers etc for programming

    do that in the same usb shell and i’;d gladly pay 20 bucks

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