Teague Labs Puts Mario In A Box

| 9 Sep 2011 20:22

Teague Labs' latest gadget is a brilliant example of geek crafting that finally answers the question, "what if Shigeru Miyamoto worked strictly with cardboard?"

An initial glance at the box might give you the impression that it is your ordinary, run-of-the-mill cardboard container. Open it up however, and you see that it is actually a fully functional, sidescrolling platformer.

The tech behind this gadget baffles me a bit, so I'll let explain:

The box is deceptively plain looking. Pull the front tab, and the flap lifts up. A start-up sound signals the beginning of the game, and the level begins to scroll. Enemies and blocks move from left to right, and the player must avoid them. A knob on the side of the box controls the character which is attached to an arm and servo that moves vertically as you turn the knob. An LED light blinks as the level gets faster, and if you knock into an enemy, the box closes. Game over.

The box makes use of one of Teague's own products, the Teagueduino, which aims to take the difficulty out of coding and electronics. A continuous rotation servo keeps the level scrolling, another servo moves the arm, and Mario is outfitted with a magnetic sensor that stops the game when it passes over an enemy, which is also outfitted with a magnet. Finally, a servo-controlled popsicle stick opens and closes the box.

Teague Labs is one of those darling design groups that constantly amaze 'net denizens with their clever designs and generous Maker spirit, and this project is no exception. The end of that above clip explains how the gadget works, and you can find a detailed breakdown of the tech at the Teagueduino website.

Normally this is where I'd point out that Nintendo is incredibly protective of its intellectual properties and that its lawyers may be drafting a cease and desist letter at this very moment, but I love this thing, so I'd rather not jinx it.

As long as this doesn't get out, it can be our awesome little secret. Nobody tell Nintendo, okay?


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