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.

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A huge cardboard computer with an equally huge mouse

Massive Mouse Game Mimics Classic Software Crashes

Computer mice come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, but are typically designed to fit in the palm of your hand. While some users with large hands may find standard mice uncomfortably small, we don’t think anyone will ever make that complaint about the humongous peripheral [Felix Fisgus] made for a game called Office Job at the ENIAROF art festival in Marseille. With a length of about two meters we suspect it might be the largest functional computer mouse in existence.

An optical mouse sensor mounted on a cardboard frameInside the massive mouse is a wooden pallet with four caster wheels that enable smooth movement in all directions. This motion is detected by an ordinary optical mouse sensor: perhaps surprisingly, these can be used at this enormous scale simply by placing a different lens in front.

As for the mouse button, [Felix] and his colleagues found of that the bottom of an empty five-liter can has a nice “pop” to it and installed one in the front section of the device, hooked up to an ESP32 board that communicates with a computer through Bluetooth.

The mouse connects to an equally huge desktop computer, powered by a Raspberry Pi, on which users play a game that involves clicking on error messages from a wide variety of old and new operating systems. Moving the mouse and pressing its button to hit those dialog boxes is a two-person job, and turns the annoyance of software errors into a competitive game.

Optical mouse sensors are versatile devices: apart from their obvious purpose they can also serve as motion sensors for autonomous vehicles, or even as low-resolution cameras.

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DIY Optical Sensor Breakout Board Makes DIY Optical Mouse

Wanting to experiment with using optical mouse sensors but a bit frustrated with the lack of options, [Tom Wiggins] rolled his own breakout board for the ADNS 3050 optical mouse sensor and in the process of developing it used it to make his own 3D-printed optical mouse. Optical mouse sensors are essentially self-contained cameras that track movement and make it available to a host. To work properly, the sensor needs a lens assembly and appropriate illumination, both of which mate to a specialized bracket along with the sensor. [Tom] found a replacement for the original ADNS LED but still couldn’t find the sensor bracket anywhere, so he designed his own.

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