Arcade Games and Nerf Guns: Making with Toys

Last week we broke out some toys and started to make! Inspired by some of the kids who were running around the neighborhood, playing with nerf guns, but with no darts, I broke out some of my very first making projects.

Back when I was much younger, many a weekend evening was spend modifying nerf guns, making darts and battling it out with my friends. In fact, early in the days of Instructables, I wrote an how-to guide of my old hobby. When I saw the kids, it brought it all back to me, and I realized how important nerf guns were to me becoming the maker that I am.

So I broke out some of my old guns, and we set off to making some darts. After we were up and running, I decided I needed to break out something a bit more technical and set off to make an Arduino powered target board. Using a few 2″x2″ FSR sensors, we built the frame and began to program the Arduino. As we were soon to find out, the clocking speed of the Arduino was simply too slow to detect the instanteous contact of the dart, and so the project was scrapped for the day. However, returning and attempting to code in C or assembly will speed up the clocking and should make it work perfectly!

We also broke out another gem of my early years; the control panel to an arcade cabinet I made many years ago. Rather than using the old board that had once powered it, I opted to have the kids wire it to the Makey Makey and pull up some games to play on it. The kids loved playing on the arcade controls, but we need to find a better set of games to play!

Next week we’ll play around more with our control panel, and start exploring the large scale hovercraft…that I have yet to tell the kids about, saving the reveal for the moment it carries one of the kids off on a pocket of frictionless air!

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