beanz Magazine

MaKey MaKey Projects

Chris Radcliff on Flickr

MaKey MaKey is an invention kit that connects any object that conducts even a little bit of electricity to make things like banana pianos.

The best part of MaKey MaKey is its flexibility. Everything from plants, coins, silverware, and aluminum foil to your grandma and your cat or dog conducts enough electricity to have fun with this kit. With MaKey MaKey projects, you use metal alligator clips connected to their board to generate electric impulses which any computer device accepts as input. So you can browse web pages or play online games. It’s great fun.

While kids are a natural for MaKey MaKey, the invention kit works for anyone creative who wants to have fun. You don’t need software, only the kit and objects and your imagination. Plus a desire to have a good time.

Here are several fun MaKey MaKey projects you might want to look up and try. Links at the bottom of this article lead you to more information about MaKey MaKey, these projects, and lots more to explore.

How Does MaKey MaKey Work?

If you have never heard of MaKey MaKey, here’s a great introduction from its creators:

And here are fun music projects you can try with MaKey MaKey using gummy worms, pizza, and much more:

By now, you should be excited to get started. Here are a few projects you might want to try.

A Basic Giggle Circuit

The simplest MaKey MaKey project is to have two people each hold an alligator clip then touch, like this little kid and her dad. Touching a finger to a nose or kissing closes the circuit and MaKey MaKey performs an action:

Sketch It, Play It!

Another fun but simple project requires paper and a graphite pencil. You draw with the pencil to create a line to connect an alligator clip to each line, as shown in this video, then use your fingers to play music:

The Screaming Carrot

This short silent video shows the basic way you can connect MaKey MaKey to objects, in this case, a carrot and a knife. Cutting the carrot with the knife completes a circuit which triggers the Wilhelm Scream effect, a classic Hollywood sound effect:

Building a Cloud Server Using a Makey Makey and Bacon

While parents who work in IT might enjoy this, making a bacon lettuce tomato (and mustard!) sandwich with MaKey MaKey can make your computer do lots of stuff, in addition to spinning up a cloud server:

Best part? You can eat as you work with MaKey MaKey. And I didn’t know mustard conducts electricity. Very interesting.

Meet The Talking Drink Up Fountain

Finally, here’s a fun project for a good cause which shows how Makey Makey might be used for pranks:

More Ideas

Search the internet for MaKey MaKey projects and you’ll find lots of ideas. One note, however, about using cats. If you want to use your cat, the best idea appears to be wrapping your cat in some conductive cloth, like a neckerchief. Asking your cat to sit still or not eat your alligator clips is asking for trouble. They’re too clever. Dogs likely work the same way but I could not find MaKey MaKey videos with dogs.

It’s also possible to connect Scratch projects to MaKey MaKey.

The simplicity of MaKey MaKey — close a circuit, perform an action — makes it both fun and powerful. The only limits are your imagination and what materials you have at hand.

Learn More

MaKey MaKey

http://makeymakey.com
http://makeymakey.com/gallery/
http://makeymakey.com/howto.php
http://makeymakey.com/buy.php

Sparkfun MaKey MaKey Guide

https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/makey-makey-quickstart-guide

21 veryday objects you can hack, from a bacon sandwich to a pencil to your cat

http://blog.ted.com/2013/05/16/21-everyday-objects-you-can-hack-from-a-bacon-sandwich-to-a-pencil-to-your-cat/

How Does MaKey MaKey Work?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfQqh7iCcOU

MaKey MaKey Music Examples

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkPt9MYqDW0

A Basic Giggle Circuit

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsUFC75Q8CQ

Sketch It, Play It!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWf6EnCP6vo

The Screaming Carrot

http://youtu.be/o4iTQ7lr2W0

The Wilhelm Scream

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilhelm_scream
https://archive.org/details/WilhelmScreamSample
http://mentalfloss.com/article/60236/where-did-wilhelm-scream-come-and-why-do-so-many-filmmakers-use-it

Building a Cloud Server Using a Makey Makey and Bacon

http://youtu.be/HwC424A7BH0?list=PLhtDFTmYm0r28s8ON8PjhOvF5jTDfSFO8

Meet The Talking Drink Up Fountain

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bl_0BfPlJYc
http://www.yesyesno.com/drink-up-fountain/
http://www.yesyesno.com/talks/

Scratch and MaKey MaKey

http://wiki.scratch.mit.edu/wiki/How_to_Connect_to_the_Physical_World
http://scratch.mit.edu/studios/223260/

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