"The MaKey MaKey is an invention kit that tricks your computer into thinking that almost anything is a keyboard. This allows you to hook up all kinds of fun things as an input. For example, play Mario with a Play-Doh keyboard, or piano with fruit! The MaKey MaKey uses high resistance switching to detect when you've made a connection even through materials that aren't very conductive (like leaves, pasta or people). This technique attracts noise on the input, so a moving window averager is used to lowpass the noise. The on-board ATMega32u4 communicates with your computer using the Human Interface Device (HID) protocol which means that it can act like a keyboard or mouse."
-- MaKey MaKey
Curriculum concepts: Circuits and Invention
*Kits available: 2
(Each contains the same items)
2 MaKey MaKey HID boards
14 alligator clips
12 white connector wires
2 USB cords
2 instruction sheets
Making a Circuit by Chris Oxlade
The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
Not a Box by Antoinette Portis
How do I use the back of the Makey Makey?
The connections on the back of the Makey Makey are what's called "female header." They're rows of little sockets, designed for wires to stick into. One easy way to use them is with connector wires (a.k.a. jumper wires), which are wires with little pins on either end that stick nicely into the header. These come in the kit. You can also buy them separately, but be sure to get the male/male ones, like these: http://www.sparkfun.com/products/11026 . Jumpers are convenient, but you can also plug regular wire into the header. Solid core wire is best, and you will need wire strippers to remove the insulation from the ends of the wire. You can also find clever ways to use stuff you already have- for example, we've found that both paper clips and safety pins work great for this purpose!
Try Out Various Materials!
Make different materials into a key with the MaKey MaKey! Try conductive and non-conductive materials to see how they react.
Here are a few things we've tried: Fruits and vegetables, Play-Doh (as long as it's moist), plants, people, pencil lines (make them thick and dark), foil, coins, magnets, silverware, cardboard, clothing, yarn, paper, and more!
Check here for more ideas!
Please note: You'll need to supply your own conductive and non-conductive materials. They're not included in the kit. Thanks!