A Classic TV Trope For An Escape Room

No spooky mansion is complete without a secret passage accessed through a book shelf — or so Hollywood has taught us. What works as a cliché in movies works equally well in an escape room, and whenever there’s escape rooms paired with technology, [Alastair Aitchison] isn’t far. His latest creation: you guessed it, is a secret bookcase door.

For this tutorial, he took a regular book shelf and mounted it onto a wooden door, with the door itself functioning as the shelf’s back panel, and using the door hinges as primary moving mechanism. Knowing how heavy it would become once it’s filled with books, he added some caster wheels hidden in the bottom as support. As for the (un)locking mechanism, [Alastair] did consider a mechanical lock attached on the door’s back side, pulled by a wire attached to a book. But with safety as one of his main concerns, he wanted to keep the risk of anyone getting locked in without an emergency exit at a minimum. A fail-safe magnetic lock hooked up to an Arduino, along with a kill switch served as solution instead.

Since his main target is an escape room, using an Arduino allows also for a whole lot more variety of integrating the secret door into its puzzles, as well as ways to actually unlock it. How about by solving a Rubik’s Cube or with the right touch on a plasma globe?

15 thoughts on “A Classic TV Trope For An Escape Room

    1. Or someone could use a logic circuit.
      If one of the wrong switches is pressed, the power path will be disconnected or reset somehow.

      A relays logic can help here. Especially self-holding relays could be used for implementing certain mechanisms/rules.

      Relays can also help forming a route, an order, in which buttons or switches must be operated.
      If someone triggers a “trap” the relays logic will rearrange, rewire, its own power path.

    1. I ask because I was curious about how he would solve that problem.

      Of course, you can make the whole room dark so nobody would see the tracks. But if I were in that room and would be stuck, for sure I would think about feeling the floor for tracks or scratches.

        1. Reported my own comment. This is the second in a row that has incorrectly posted as a reply to another comment. I know for a fact that when I posted this comment, it was done with no other comment selected for reply.

          Fix your stuff plz.

          This comment is unmonitored, because of how WordPress implements such things. I can be reache, if need be, by email at the address in the form, or on the [dot]io side under the same username.

    2. They might do after an extended period of usage, in the same way that any piece of floor that is routinely walked-on or has furniture moved across it will. But that’s only true if you have particularly soft wooden floorboards!

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