4201: Alternatives for Inputs, Outputs, Designs (notes)

After getting some much-needed advice, I realized I should probably make the crane cage behave significantly different from other/typical claw machines. This is an art project, after all, and I wouldn’t want to put my current Arduino knowledge/potential to waste(!).

At this point I have already ordered a small, relatively inexpensive claw machine game from Amazon (found here). I do plan on opening the machine up temporarily to inspect its inner workings, but perhaps I don’t actually have to take it apart; instead, I can possibly add/detract from the functions, and alter the way it looks to make it more “artistic” and conceptually interesting.

For  starters, I considered different ways of inputting commands to make the claw move. Perhaps using joysticks is too “ordinary” and expected.

A claw game using alternative methods of controlling the claw has actually been done before: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2X72bLjsO4

I’ve also browsed a few pages regarding toy hacking, especially those with controllers (like RC cars)

toy car

WALL-E Robot

generic stuffed sheep

A few alternatives to standard joystick:

  • Photosensors
  • PIR Sensor (link,
  • Internet/Text Message input

On another note, additional outputs might make this more interesting to look at.

  • Additional LEDs, responding to wins/loses/idle states
  • Emitting “bird sounds,” depending on the position/location of the claw within the machine

General wikipedia page for claw machines: Link

I also realize that the birds/prizes themselves might need to be an appropriate size. Currently, the origami paper I have to work with comes in 1 1/2″ and 2″ inches in width.


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