Roll-On Deodorant Controller Heats Up Racing Game

What do you get when you combine roll-on deodorant containers and a soccer ball with an optical mouse and an obscure 90s Japanese video game about racing armadillos? Well, you get a pretty darn cool controller with which to play said game, we must admit.

We hardly knew they were still making roll-on deodorant, and [Tom Tilley] is out here with three empties with which to hack. And hack he does — after thoroughly washing and drying the containers three, he sawed off the ball-holding bit just below the business part and fit each into the roll-on’s lid. Then [Tom] constructed a semi-elaborate cardboard-and-hot-glue thing to hold them in an equilateral triangle formation. Out of nowhere, he casually drops a fourth modified roll-on ball over an optical mouse, thereby extending the power of lasers to the nifty frosted orb.

Finally, [Tom] placed the pièce de résistance — the soccer ball — on top of everything. The mouse picks up the movement through the middle roll-on, and the original three are there for stability and roll-ability purposes. At last, Armadillo Racing can be played in DIY style. Don’t get it? Don’t sweat it — just check out the brief build video after the break.

24 thoughts on “Roll-On Deodorant Controller Heats Up Racing Game

  1. I have to say that out of all line items that pop up on my 0800 news feed “ROLL-ON DEODORANT CONTROLLER HEATS UP RACING GAME” was the least expected.

    I am more surprised that the mouse worked as well as it did than by the fact there’s an armadillo based racing game. Then again this is the same culture that gave us Sonic the Hedgehog. Wonder what the best implementation for left and right click would be since both hands are occupied with the ball.

    1. I was originally hoping to just use the optical mouse to track the ball’s rotation but there was too much vertical movement so adding the fourth roller underneath removed the need for any axis-inversion and worked surprisingly well.

  2. This should be what you see when you look up the words “hack”, “hacking”, and “hacker” in the dictionary. Guy hacks up some cardboard and old deodorant bottles to create a splendid hack. As to clicking a mouse to control – foot pedals would be appropriate.

    1. This guy is underrated. 8 different HaD articles feature his projects, and he still has less than 1k subs. He is particularly good at making cheap hacks and at using and making controllers in them, but his projects aren’t detailed enough in the videos (the descriptions are text-only) to cause enough interest.

      1. Cheers and thanks for the feedback! I tried to make shorter, entertaining videos that would give an idea of how the projects worked with links to a website for those who wanted more detail, however, I find myself time poor on the detail front these days. I’ve also never felt confident using my own voice on video and wanted them to be relatively accessible for non-English speakers.

      1. I actually started setting up Katamari on a machine last night because it’s one I want to try with the controller. I need to set up some scripting to map from the mouse to a virtual joystick but FreePIE and vJoy should do the trick. I’ll get another video up if I get it running well.

    1. At the moment I only have the left mouse button hooked up so I’d need a few more but that’s a great idea! I built the controller to play Armadillo Racing but I also captured some footage playing Marble Madness which works quite well.

  3. Before I got married, I saved the balls from my roll on tubes.
    I had various plans for using them, one was replacements for Foosballs.
    But, marriage happened.

  4. Really cool! Looks like a huge trackball to me!
    You know, these mouse alternatives from the late 80s/early-mid 90s..
    For a while, they were very popular among the cool kids. Along with ergonomic keyboards, I suppose. ^^

    PS: With a bit of acrylic paint, the construction would look much more professional! IMHO.

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