Stecchino Game Is All About Balancing A Big Toothpick

Stecchino demo by the creator

Self-described “Inventor Dad” [pepelepoisson]’s project is called Stecchino (English translation link here) and it’s an Arduino-based physical balancing game that aims to be intuitive to use and play for all ages. Using the Stecchino (‘toothpick’ in Italian) consists of balancing the device on your hand and trying to keep it upright for as long as possible. The LED strip fills up as time passes, and it keeps records of high scores. It was specifically designed to be instantly understood and simple to use by people of all ages, and we think it has succeeded in this brilliantly.

To sense orientation and movement, Stecchino uses an MPU-6050 gyro and accelerometer board. An RGB LED strip gives feedback, and it includes a small li-po cell and charger board for easy recharging via USB. The enclosure is made from a few layers of laser-cut and laser-engraved material that also holds the components in place. The WS2828B WS2812B LED strip used is technically a 5 V unit, but [pepelepoisson] found that feeding them direct from the 3.7 V cell works just fine; it’s not until the cell drops to about three volts that things start to glitch out. All source code and design files are on GitHub.

Games are great, and the wonderful options available to people today allow for all kinds of interesting experimentation like a blind version of tag, or putting new twists on old classics like testing speed instead of strength.

5 thoughts on “Stecchino Game Is All About Balancing A Big Toothpick

  1. I thought at first there might be a new version of addressable RGB LED out there, but it appears to be a typo. One that’s also in all the other copies of this story that are out there it seems…

    1. Whoops, that’s me. I managed to fat-finger the number into 2828 somehow (it’s supposed to be the fairly ubiquitous WS2812B) and I corrected it. There are also sites out there that straight up scrape our content and post it as their own, which sometimes means they copy a simple and/or embarrassing typo and are none the wiser.

  2. Now to incorporate a couple of hidden servos connected to weights that will self balance the “toothpick” for a “cheat mode”, as well as an “impossible to balance mode” and a way to surreptitiously engage those modes.

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