Evil Mad Science Kits on Make: Live!

The most recent episode of Make: Live was a special episode on kits to celebrate the upcoming release of the Make: Special Issue, The Ultimate Kit Guide. Our very own Octolively and Meggy Jr RGB kits were both featured on the show. The electronic kits clip is embedded above, or you can watch the full video and the rest of the clips, including siege & ballistic kits and crafty kits on the Ultimate Kit Episode post over at Make.

MeggyCade Jr

From our forums comes this awesome “MeggyCade Jr” by Michale Molero:

“The MeggyCade is the first (and currently only) tabletop arcade game that includes a full-featured Meggy Jr RGB game system inside it, complete with authentic arcade controls. I built this thing from scratch in just under a month (with spurts of free time here and there).”

The video demo is at Youtube, and there’s a photo build log up here. Nice work!

DIY Fever: Heading to Maker Faire

See us at Maker Faire!
It’s a busy week at the labs here. We’re getting ready for Maker Faire this weekend in San Mateo, CA– the biggest, baddest, and most awesomest DIY festival of the year.

We’ll be showcasing an updated version of our mechanical Pong game. We’ve added a curved playing field, new user-friendly knobs, and a host of other improvements that we’ll plan to write about at a later date. We hope you’ll come by and try it out–we’ll be on the west side of the Expo hall.

Tabletop Pong - 92
Some of the other projects that we’ve taken to Maker Faire in the last few years include our Interactive LED Dining Table, CandyFab, Bristlebots, Interactive LED Coffee Table, Peggy 2, and Meggy Jr RGB.

We’re also participating in the Open Source Hardware Panel, on Saturday at 1 pm at the Innovation Stage at the south end of the Expo Hall.

Eggbot kit - preview 1

We’ll have much more to say about this later, but we’re thrilled to announce our new collaboration with Bruce Shapiro, Ben Trombley, and Brian Schmalz. While we’re demonstrating the Tabletop-Pong game, Bruce and friends will be giving a sneak peek at the results of our collaboration: a fantastic new version of the Eggbot kit, which we are preparing for release as an open source kit sometime this summer.

Eggbot kit - preview 2

You can sign up here for more info about the kit, and you can try out the Eggbots– or just see them in action –in the center of the Expo Hall.

Lastly, to help get everyone else in the DIY mood, we’re having a DIY Fever sale over at the store, with 20% off of Evil Mad Science open-source kit favorites such as the Larson Scanner, Meggy Jr RGB and the Bulbdial Clock, and 10% off of everything else!

Happy hacking, and we’ll hope to see you all at the Faire!

Revenge of the Cherry Tomatoes

Revenge!

Revenge of the Cherry Tomatoes is a new game for the Meggy Jr RGB, our open-source 64-pixel video game kit.

“Revenge” is a written-from-scratch sequel to Attack of the Cherry Tomatoes, the built-in game on Meggy Jr. It was written by Chris Brookfield, who discusses the game and shows off its features in our video:

Revenge is available as one of the example programs in version 1.4 of the Meggy Jr RGB library for the Arduino development environment. You can download it at the Google code site for Meggy Jr.

ComBots Cup IV this weekend!

ComBots

Come join us at the ComBots Cup at the San Mateo Fairgrounds on Saturday, December 19 and Sunday, December 20 from 2-7 pm. (Get tickets here.) And if taking your loved ones to see combat robotics wasn’t gift enough, you can do a little last minute holiday shopping without having to brave the mall! We’ll have a selection of kits (and a few robot repair parts) on hand. You can try out Meggy Jr RGB and see the new Bulbdial Clock in person.

Read more about the event at Suicide Bots. Special treat for our readers who attend: mention this post and we’ll give you an RGB LED in your choice of style. Hope to see you there!

Meggy Jr RGB Twitter Reader

MeggyTwit - 1
We’ve turned Meggy Jr RGB into a multicolor scrolling LED twitter reader. It’s a handy external ambient data device that displays things recently written by your friends on twitter.

This project was inspired in part by the excellent Twitter LED Scroller by David Nichols. The big idea is that we use a host computer to run a Processing application, which periodically checks Twitter for updates, and then sends “scrolling” data, one column at time, to the external LED display.
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A tale of two Meggies

Connected
The Meggy Jr RGB has an open serial port that– thus far– hasn’t been used much for gameplay. Something was missing, which turns out to have been this cable that can hook two Meggy Jr’s (Er, Meggies?) together.

Even neater, this cable can be used to provide serial connections between any two of most types of Arduino-compatible devices that normally are programmed through a FTDI USB-TTL cable. This includes not only Meggy Jr RGB, but also the Arduino Pro, the current-revision LilyPad Arduino and the DC Boarduino. (Note: BBB and RBBB users: You can play too, once you wire up CTS# to ground.)

And the cable itself? You can make it yourself– in a couple of minutes– from a standard cable that costs about a buck. :)

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Programming Meggy Jr RGB

Last week we released an Arduino environment library for the Meggy Jr RGB. The code is an open source project here, and the downloadable package comes several example programs, ranging from very simple to moderately complex. (One of the examples is a new game called Froggy Jr, where you help your a little round green frog cross the street and then a river.)

Today, to make it all a bit more useful, we are releasing the Meggy Jr RGB Programing guide, which you can download Here (600 kB PDF file).

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