Most modern computer games have a clearly-defined end, but many classics like Pac-man and Duck Hunt can go on indefinitely, limited only by technical constraints such as memory size. One would think that the classic electronic memory game Simon should fall into that category too, but with most humans struggling even to reach level 20 it’s hard to be sure. [Michael Schubart] was determined to find out if there was in fact an end to the latest incarnation of Simon and built a robot to help him in his quest.
The Simon Air, as the newest version is known, uses motion sensors to detect hand movements, enabling no-touch gameplay. [Michael] therefore made a system with servo-actuated silicone hands that slap the motion sensors. The tone sequence generated by the game is detected by light-dependent resistors that sense which of the segments lights up; a Raspberry Pi keeps track of the sequence and replays it by driving the servos.
We won’t spoil the ending, but [Michael] did find an answer to his question. An earlier version of the game was already examined with the help of an Arduino, although it apparently wasn’t fast enough to drive the game to its limits. If you think Simon can be improved you can always roll your own, whether from scratch or by hacking an existing toy.
Continue reading “Silicone-Slapping Servos Solve Simon Says“
Remember Simon? We sure do. Simon — as in “Simon says…” — from the leading edge of electronic games in the 1970s, which used four buttons, colored lights, and simple tones as the basis for a memory game. Players had to remember the specific sequence of lights and replay the pattern in order to advance to the next round. It was surprisingly addictive, at least for the era.
For those who never quite got into the Simon groove, fear not — the classic game has now been fully automated. While there were plenty of approaches that could have taken to interfacing to the game, [ido roseman] went with the obvious — and best, in our opinion — technique and simulated a human player’s finger presses with servo-controlled arms. Each arm carries a light-dependent resistor that registers the light coming from the key it’s poised above; the sequence of lights is sensed and recorded by an Arduino, which then drives the servo fingers’ replay attack. The fingers aren’t exactly snappy in their response, which might cause problems — if we recall correctly, Simon is somewhat picky about the speed with which the keys are pressed, at least at higher levels of play.
On the whole, we really like this one, not least for the nostalgia factor. We’ve had a lot of recreations of Simon over the years, including a Dance Dance Revolution version, but few attempts to automate it. And a crazy idea: wouldn’t it be fun to replace the replay attack with a machine learning system that figures out how to play Simon by randomly pressing keys and observing the results?
Continue reading “Four Servo Fingers Play Simon Better Than You Ever Could”
Simon was a popular toy, launching at the very end of the 1970s, and cribbed from earlier work by Atari with their game Touch Me. The gameplay is simple, and while we suspect it won’t last quite as long as the several thousand years we’ve so far had chess, it’s still around today. [DIY Machines] decided to bust out the 3D printer and whip up their own version.
Simon has long served as a great test project to get to grips with various maker skills, and this build is no exception. An Arduino Nano runs the show, and gets an OLED display to display the current level. Large glowing arcade buttons serve as the control, with their lights flashed as per the original game. Sound is courtesy of a simple buzzer.
It’s a build that doesn’t do anything wild, but presents very well. This is down to the smoothly finished and nicely designed case, as well as the choice of quality human interface components. Everyone loves mashing arcade buttons, and that’s what they’re built for – so they’re always a safe choice.
We’ve seen a lot of straight-down-the-lines Simon projects, but this DDR-ified version is a fun twist on the standard form. Video after the break.
Continue reading “Simple Simon Says Looks Sharp”
Sometimes the Christmas season can feel like a holiday all about spending money to demonstrate your love for others. Many a maker has attempted to subvert these commercialistic overtones by giving handmade presents to friends and loved ones. [APA] is no exception, and has shared their story of producing a simple Simon game during the holidays.
The circuit is nothing wild – an ATtiny85 microcontroller interfaces a handful of buttons and LEDs to handle the basic Simon gameplay. The real value is in [APA]’s retelling of the development process. It’s an accurate recounting that makes us relive some of our own follies of early projects. There’s the confusion between SMD and through hole versions of the same part, forgotten pull up resistors, as well as hours lost trying to figure out why a chip won’t write, only to learn the bootloader hasn’t been burned yet.
In the end, [APA] was able to push through a rush order and deliver the gifts on time, despite the many pitfalls along the way. The final game provided some laughs around the dinner table at Christmas, so we’d say the mission was definitely accomplished.
We’ve seen similar work before, too – like this tiny Simon game on an ATtiny13.
How much game can you get out of a chip with only 1 kB of flash memory and (five or) six free GPIOs? Well, you can get it to play the classic memory game, Simon. [Vojtak] is submitting this project for the 1 kB Challenge, but it looks like it’s already been used to teach simple microcontrollering to teenagers as well, so the code is actually straightforward to read, but full of nice features.
Neat tricks include sharing button-press sensing and LED driving on the same pin, which was necessary to make everything work on such a small chip. A simple linear-congruential pseudorandom sequence provides the variation, and it’s seeded by slow-clock/fast-clock timing jitter, so you’re probably not going to see the same sequence twice. (It’s not the best random number generator ever, but it’ll do.) If that weren’t enough, high scores (and the random seed for the game) are saved to EEPROM so that you can brag to your friends or re-live your previous moments of glory.
The board is easily solderable together as well. This is a fantastic beginner project, with details in the code that everyone can learn from. It’s a great game, and a great demonstration of what you can do with a dollar’s worth of parts and 1 kB of code.
Continue reading “Tiny Game Of Simon On An ATtiny13”
Since 1998 we’ve been privileged to partake in an arcade game known as Dance Dance Revolution, but before that, way back in the 70’s, was the Simon game. It’s essentially a memory game that asks the player to remember a series of lights and sounds. [Uberdam] decided to get the best of both worlds and mixed the two together creating this giant foot controlled Simon game. (English translation.)
The wood platform that serves as the base of the project was fitted with four capacitive sensors, each one representing a “color” on the Simon game. When a player stomps on a color, a capacitive sensor sends a signal to a relay which in turn notifies the Raspberry Pi brain of the input. The Pi also takes care of showing the player the sequence of colored squares that must be stepped on, and keeps track of a player’s progress on a projector.
This is a pretty good way of showing how a small, tiny computer like the Raspberry Pi can have applications in niche environments while also being a pretty fun game. We all remember Simon as being frustrating, and we can only imagine how jumping around on a wooden box would make it even more exciting. Now, who can build a robot that can beat this version of Simon?
Continue reading “DDR-ing A Simon Game With A Raspberry Pi”
Virtually everyone has played Simon, that electronic memory game from the 70s, but who among us has actually beaten it? That was the goal of [Ben] and his 7-year-old daughter, and after a year of work, an Arduino, some servos, and a few Lego bricks, they’ve finally done it.
Instead of the large original Simon, [Ben] is using a key chain version of the game: much smaller, and much easier to build a device to sense the lights and push the buttons. The arms are made from Lego bricks, held up with rubber bands and actuated with two servos mounted on a cutting board.
To detect Simon’s lights, [Ben] connected four phototransistors to an Arduino. The Arduino records the pattern of lights on the Simon, and activates the Lego arms in response to that pattern. [Ben]’s version of Simon has only a maximum of 32 steps in the final sequence, but that still means each game takes 528 button presses – and a lot of annoying beeps – to complete.
Continue reading “Beating Simon”