2023 Cyberdeck Contest: A Toddler’s Cyberdeck

[Josh] has a child and what do children like more than stuffing random things into their mouths? Pushing buttons, twiddling knobs, and yanking things of course! So [Josh] did what any self-respecting hacker would do and built his little man a custom cyberdeck.

The build follows the usual route of some electronics wedged into a pelican-style waterproof case — which is a good choice for this particular owner — a repurposed all-in-one LCD video player in the lid and a bunch of switches in the base. The player is apparently a V100-base SBC the likes of which are used in shops for those annoying looping promotional videos, but it doesn’t really matter if all it’s doing is being a focus point.

There is no connection from the base to the ‘display’ but that doesn’t matter here. The base is the fun part, with lots of old-school toggle switches and rotary knobs to play with and a load of LEDs to flash in mysterious ways. The guts of this are controlled via an Arduino Mega 2560, with copious amounts of hot glue on display in true hacker style. On the coding side of things, [Josh] used ChatGPT to produce the code from his prompting and Wokwi  to simulate it before deployment to the hardware.

5 thoughts on “2023 Cyberdeck Contest: A Toddler’s Cyberdeck

  1. What a fun and awesome project, well executed!! I thought about doing something similar, but instead of doing all the button/switch wiring I would integrate an IR receiver and an old (but real) remote control, which is like having 30 buttons that could be “docked” or removed. Whilst the tactile feedback of switches and dials might be lost, it would create a cool software project to make it interactive on a display or matrix of LEDs. Each remote could interact differently with the system, heck I might just make it randomly work with any remote codes and thus a universal remote could create entirely new experiences depending on the remote codes.

    Damn now my head is spinning, looks like I have a new project to build. Thanks for the inspiration 😀

    Hats off for using chatGPT to code it, sounds like fun into itself.

  2. I’m on the *ahem* side of 40 and I would love to have switches, knobs, leds and displays to mess about! Fantastic project, I hope [Josh] has prepared to upgrade it and to answer a million questions along the way!

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