Tweet-Powered Bat Removes Effort Required To Obtain Pinata Contents

A child filled game-launch event was happening in London and [Roo] was asked to use his serious making skills to construct a machine that would hit a pinata with a baseball bat. This is a great idea, well, because giving bats to a bunch of kids at a populated event probably wouldn’t end well. One of the characters from the game Skylanders is named ‘Painyatta‘ and that is whom the pinata is modeled after. Tweeting #HitPainyatta initiates a bat swing. The swing tweeter gets to keep any treats that happen to fall out.

The physical machine is pretty simple. Most of it is made of MDF and wood. A large base supports a tall, skinny box. Mounted on top is a large stepper motor with a long wooden arm holding an aluminum bat. Once a tweet came in, a moderator would check for offensive content (hey, there are kids around) using a custom Twitter API app, and if acceptable, the tweet would be displayed on an LED matrix while an Arduino controlled a stepper driver to spin the motor and swing the bat.

…no children were harmed in the making of this project…

8 thoughts on “Tweet-Powered Bat Removes Effort Required To Obtain Pinata Contents

  1. This is really cool, and I love the Skylanders reference. Probably a random aside, but this week I managed to complete a project that allows me to emulate the Skylanders portal and play as all of the characters using my Beaglebone Black, would HaD be interested in it at all?

      1. Good idea! Sorry, I’ve never tried to submit anything here before (but have always been an avid reader) and didn’t know I could, I will submit it later. Thanks for the advice.

  2. the twiter controlled bat is cool but way to take the fun out of somethnig, if you cant hit the pinata theres no point to have a pinata just hand the candy out. The fun part is getting to HIT the pinata, seeing and automated bat do it is not as satisfying

  3. Need robot spectators to replace the children so the event is 100% safe. A piece of paper mache could ricochet off that bat, strike someone’s follicle, promote an ingrown hair, and then where would we be?

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