Hacked Farm Toy Plays Simon


My kids have a plastic farm toy. It moos, it oinks, it neighs, it
baas, and frankly, it grates. But since I tricked it out with an
attiny2313, at least it can play “Simon Says”.

This is what [Tom] said in his email to us. We love that when the toy annoyed [Tom], he improved it.

He started by inserting his own electronics. Using an ATTiny2313 for the brains, he proceeded to make it into an interesting game of “simon says”.  Each stall is a button and has a nice bright LED in it to help you follow along. Interestingly, he preserved the original electronics as well and added a switch so he could change modes. Great job [Tom]!

Catch the video after the break.

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The Most Surprising Game Of Simon You’ve Every Played

How does one take a game of Simon and make it extremely awesome? The folks at the North Street Labs — a Hackerspace in Portsmouth, Virginia — have found the secret and it’s all in the execution. They turned this chair-desk into a coin-operated Simon game that hides a huge surprise.

We suppose you should be able to guess the secret. Most coin-operated sidewalk attractions are rides, and so is this. As their Red Bull Creation entry the team built a base for the desk around a 2000 Watt floor buffer. These are the kind of things that you’d see a janitor in the 1980’s using to polish the tiles of your middle-school.  This one just happens to shake the bejesus out of a player who makes a mistake. To help suck you into the game this won’t happen right away. You have to make it past at least four rounds before making the mistake.

The rest of the game is as expected. The playing area is nicely milled from a piece of wood with acrylic windows serving as the buttons. Apparently the biggest problem with that part of the build is finding a way to hold everything together despite the intense vibrations. See for yourself in the clip after the break.

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[Alex] Shows Us What Happens When Dance Dance Revolution Meets Simon


[Alex] was digging through his closet and came upon an old PS2 game pad for Dance Dance Revolution. He hated the idea of throwing it out just slightly more than the idea of playing DDR again, so he decided to find a way to reuse it.

He was a big fan of the game Simon (aka Genius) as a kid and thought that the DDR pad would make a novel interface for the classic game. Using the PS2XLib by [Bill Porter], which allows an Arduino to easily communicate with a PS2 controller, [Alex] put his Simon replica together in no time flat.

He painted an empty ice cream container with the classic Simon colors, installing a small LED under each quadrant, then wrote the game’s code.

As you can see in the video below, his version of the game works nicely, and forces you to actually get up and move a bit, which we like.

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A Little Simon Clone Named [Nomis]

[Chris] has been hard at work building his own version of Simon called [Nomis]. Although [HAD] has featured an ATiny Simon clone before, the article does an excellent job explaining how the system works.

The ATTiny85 is used to control this game, which, for now is laid out on a simple breadboard. A PCB version of this game has been ordered from [Seeed], so be sure to check back to see the results of this forthcoming upgrade. It’s really cool that this kind of small scale manufacturing is available to the masses.

A parts list is provided as well as a code overview and schematic. To see it in action, check out the video after the break. There’s an explanation at the beginning, but skip to 1:55 if you’d rather just see the machine in action. The game can reportedly run until a 100 “move” limit is reached. This was arbitrary, but it should be enough for most people! Continue reading “A Little Simon Clone Named [Nomis]”

Karate Chop Is Simon Without All The Touching

[Alan Parekh] and his daughter [Alexis] just premiered their entry in the Avnet Dog Days of Summer contest. It’s a game called Karate Chop that is basically an electronic Simon Says. The video after the break shows a demonstration of the device. When switched on it’ll play a little tune and start cycling the LEDs on the front of the case. Players interact by breaking the infrared beams in the two cutouts on either side of the case. You need to keep your hand flat to do this, which is where the name comes from. There are four different game modes which are selected at the start of the game. There are two difficulty levels of a Simon Says game which shows the player a pattern in light and sound, then watches for the user to repeat that pattern back. The other mode that [Alexis] demonstrates is a reflex game which requires the player to quickly react to randomly illuminated LEDs.

The circuit is built on a breadboard hiding behind the front bezel and uses a PIC 16F1827 microcontroller to drive the game. The case itself is made from laser cut MDF and plywood. We’re not sure how much time [Alan] spent on the case, but we think it looks wonderful. If you’re planning to participate in the contest you better get rolling, the entry deadline is tomorrow.

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[Simoninns] is hoping to compete in the Sparkfun Microcontroller Contest with this cool little Microsimon instructible. The parts list is pretty small, at around 20 components. At the heart is a PIC 12F683 microcontroller. The whole project is very well documented with schematics, PCB layouts, code, and great pictures. This is a great project that you could put together really quickly and is a perfect introduction to charlieplexing. We find that, especially when teaching a new person, games are often a good project to learn from. The interactive and competitive nature of the finished product usually keeps people interested a little longer. You can catch a video of it after the break.

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The UltimateSIMON

[Simon Inns] designed a circuit board to retrofit an original Simon electronic game. This hack is immediately a win because he made sure that his design required no modification of the original case. The new PCB has many improvements. It moves the device from using 2 D-cells over to a 9 volt battery, the incandescent bulbs were out swapped out for three LEDs per button, and the use of tactile switches makes the buttons a lot more responsive (but does require a bit of modification to the colored button covers). Under the hood there’s a PIC18F2550 controlling a serial LED chip and handling input monitoring and sound generation. The video after the break is safe to watch at work, there’s no swearing involved this time. Continue reading “The UltimateSIMON”