Teensy Hat Controls Games

[Carson] didn’t know how to use an accelerometer until he wired one up to a Teensy and put it all in a hat. The result is a joystick that will probably cause you neck problems if you play video games for very long. You can see a video of how the device came to be and how it works, below.

We liked the approach of building up the circuit and testing it before integrating it with the hat. He used a small breadboard with half the Teensy pins hanging off. That seems to work, although we’d be worried about something shorting or floating pins causing issues. Of course, if you drove the disconnected pins as outputs or inputs with pullups that might not be a big deal.

A lot of the video is focused more upon the setup of the custom controller for some specific games, but it did seem to work well. We couldn’t help but be envious of anyone who can move their neck that much without aches and pains.

The controller didn’t seem very practical, if we’re honest, although he did get a little better at using it by the end of the video. It was a fun way to experiment with an accelerometer, however it would probably be nice to add a battery and some wireless communication so that you aren’t trailing a cable.

The code is available via Pastebin. About the biggest takeaway from that was the need to program a dead zone so that tiny movements don’t turn into control inputs.

If you are more interested in how these accelerometers work — which is quite interesting — [Bill Hammack] has just the video for that. If moving your head isn’t really your cup of tea, you can use the same ideas for gesture control, as well.

3 thoughts on “Teensy Hat Controls Games

  1. “The controller didn’t seem very practical, if we’re honest, although he did get a little better at using it by the end of the video.”

    Oh believe me, it’s VERY practical…in fact, I wouldn’t play Elite Dangerous without something like this. The implementation is sound, his application is faulty.

    I did a write-up of an almost identical setup in 2015. http://makecoolthings.com/?p=306
    Which I just posted a followup to: http://makecoolthings.com/?p=1141

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