Balance Board Makey Makey-
What is Makey Makey?
Makey Makey is a interesting way to incorporate code, and design into one product. It allows for easy prototyping, and for an intuitive design. The Makey Makey can be used to turn ordinary objects, and small pieces of code, into cool pianos, different games, and even balance boards.
Which programs can you use to program a Makey Makey?
The programs we could use is python, or pygame, but we mostly used scratch for this project. This is because Makey makey was mostly new to all of us, so the scratch let us easily create code, and see the product being made. Furthermore, it showed us that we didn’t need long and complicated code to do cool projects.
Other projects you could create with Makey Makey.
After researching online, I found out that you can create quite a lot with Makey Makey. The first project that Sonia and I made was a keyboard made with just paper, and some connectivity. We then could compose songs out of it. It was shown that we could make controllers for games as well using the Makey makey. I think something interesting we could do next is perhaps making some sort of gym equipment, like a mat that allows us to track activity, similarly like:
Or perhaps a makey makey that could help compose music. So for the down key to be pressd, and it tracks what note it is.
The Makey Makey is an interactive way to use coding to create games and other designs. It allows us to use our imagination and link an actual device or game to our code to see it working. For the first lesson of using the makey makey, it was mostly us just playing around and sort of getting used to the concept of using the makey makey board. It was fascinating because before this we were simply using the code to make something that was a simple game. Now we had extended this to other mediums, and could even connect things outside, and program the makey makey.
This formative exercise built upon the previous lessons, and extended our knowledge of how we could apply the makey makey. This project was to make a timer linked to the balance board, in which would time how long you were on the board for. However, when the board touched the metal, it would stop the timer.
For this exercise, we used scratch to program our makey makey. Scratch is a easy drag and drop sort of code, which allowed us to focus on how the makey makey connected with the code, and how it reacted to it.
These are some of the screenshots of the code that we used. Although slightly different from python, the functions weren’t too hard to use, and it was neat that we could test it first using the little scratch cat first. The logic behind the code was slightly different, and each part was separated instead of as one large block.
We started off with making the timer first. We put the timer into a forever loop, which was broken by the timer to 0 when the downbar was pressed. So to put it into python code, the downbar being pressed was alike to a global function, which stopped every other part of the code, and breaked it.
We attached it to the down bar because we wanted the time to only stop when the balance board was touching on the metal on either side. After, we tested the code, we then attached it to the makey makey. The drawn diagram below is to showcase the connections we put onto the makey makey, and attached to the balance board, which was connected to our computer for the timer.
Some of the things that went well was the connection between the computer and the makey makey. It was pretty intuitive in the way that we had to use it, and all the connections seemed to make sense. I really enjoyed the project because we saw when it worked, and when it didn’t we worked collaboratively to try to solve our problems.
We found some of the parts quite challenging, especially since I have never used scratch before. The programming blocks were different, and we had to do some research before to get some ideas on how to make the code for the balance board. However, after researching more about it, we were able to start the makey makey, and the process as well as the coding got easier from then on out.
So far we have the name input, and the balance board worked. But if we had more time, we would have loved to incorporate the score for the time, and for the computer to save the score. By doing this, it would let the user track their progress, and their highest score.
Here is a video of our balance board code in action: