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For our White House Maker Faire application, please scroll down to the bottom of this page
See us at Maker Faire: Bay Area May 17- May 18 in the Sequoia Hall
Follow us on Twitter! @TheGrid2014

The Grid is a development platform that can be used for a wide range of purposes but it is primarily used for gaming. It is made up of 64 individual tiles that interlock and communicate serial data to each other and a master computer. The Grid can facilitate games for up to 8 people, who will walk and step on the tiles to play the game. We intend to program games including a Rush Hour type game and packing puzzles along with the platform's release title Flow.  

Flow is a puzzle game where players have to work together in order to connect their circles while filling up the whole board. The game play for Flow begins with a blank grid. One player is chosen for each color to be used in the game. The game grid is set to a new game.   Players enter the grid and chose one of the two tiles displaying a circle that matches the player’s color. Once all players have selected their starting circle tile the game can begin. On a signal from the game operator players begin making their way toward their matching circle. As the players advance, a colored LED trail is illuminated to indicate their path. Paths cannot cross. Players must cooperate to insure that all matching circles can be connected without crossing paths. Players can retrace their path to choose alternate routes. The game is over when all pairs of circles are connected or the allotted time expires. 

In order to create a platform that is interactive, we  built tiles that have an Arduino and a weight sensor in each in order to allow them to communicate with each other and control LEDs within the tile. This ability will allow the tiles to react to a player stepping on it. Tiles send information to each other and to a central laptop.

With 16 tiles, we went to Maker Faire: Bay Area. Maker Faire is a premier event for American innovation that is held in multiple locations each year. People bring projects of all sorts and over 100,000 people 
attend each year.  The exhibition was a great experience and we even won 2 Educator's Choice ribbons. Our project was very well received and we met a lot of interested people. Even though The Grid was not fully up and running, people responded enthusiastically and the younger kids loved to play on it. 

Based on the response we worked during the summer to complete all the tiles and develop the programming.  We then exhibited our full platform at Maker Faire: New York.  It was really well received and we had alot of fun talking to people about our experience.  We also won several Editors Choice awards.


Working prototype of 4x4 game grid.



Tile Specs-

Each tile has a 19.5in by 19.5in substructure made of Baltic Birch. The tiles are designed with a inter locking bottom slot that is coated with a strip of clear UHMW Polyethylene Rubber Adhesive Tape. This slippery coating allows the tiles to snap together easily, making electrical connections without damaging the copper tape contacts.

Close up of The Grid
Close up of The Grid
Each tile top is made of an 3/8 inch thick acrylic plate that has 48 countersunk RGB LEDs in a cross-hair pattern. The tile is then outfitted with a load cell that is electrically a
half Wheatstone bridge. This load cell is located in the center of the tile and will signal player state to an Arduino Mega. The Arduino Mega is the brain of the tile and controls communications and LED display state.
The Arduino in the tile substructure
Interior of the Grid
Contact Plate Assembly
Contact Plate Assembly
Davis working on simulators
Davis working on simulators
Lots and lots of switches
Lots and lots of switches
Matt wiring tile
Matt wiring a tile
Simulator close up
Simulator close-up


2 Educator's Choice awards
2 Educator's Choice awards
Matt and Sami explaining the Grid
Matt and Sami explaining the Grid at the Maker Faire


Team Bios:

Davis Dunaway-

I'm currently in 9th grade at Harker high school. I'm currently interested in physics, computer science, and electrical engineering. On an non-academic front, my hobbies are strategy games, trampolining, and playing bass.

Sami McGinnis- 

I'm 13 years old and in 8th grade at Valley Christian Jr. High. I love music and play alto saxophone in jazz band. My interests include reading, medical science, and engineering in general. I also enjoy swimming, biking, and writing.

Matthew Tung -

I am a freshman at Saratoga High School. Personally, I am interested in building things, like models; software; and music. I am in marching band and also jazz band. Music is an essential part of my life. In my free time, I like to read and play video games.  

Andrew Ke - 

I'm currently 13 years old and an 8th grader at Cupertino Middle School.  My hobbies include computer programming and experimenting with Arduino.  I also enjoy playing soccer and taking apart electronic things.


Young Makers

The three of us are all a part of the Willow Glen Young Makers club. The Young Makers program unites young people with mentors and resources that can help them with their projects. We also attended multiple Open Make sessions at the Tech Museum where we could share what we had so far and see what other young makers were doing.

Young Makers at work with their mentors
Young Makers at work with their mentors
One on one work with mentor
 One on one work with mentor


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Andrew Ke,
Mar 12, 2014, 8:38 PM
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Andrew Ke,
Mar 12, 2014, 8:38 PM
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