Invention kit encourages electronic exploration
8/30/2012 12:00:00 AM
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SparkFun Electronics (www.sparkfun.com) is now shipping the MaKey MaKey, a new product that invites everyone to be an inventor.
The MaKey MaKey allows users to create inventions using almost any everyday object such as a keyboard key or mouse. For example, you could replace your space key with a banana, use Play-Doh to move and click your mouse, or high-five your best friend to advance PowerPoint slides.
“The MaKey MaKey is an amazing kit because it really lowers the point of entry for beginning electronics enthusiasts,” said AnnDrea Boe, SparkFun director of marketing communications. “This kit allows users to start inventing immediately, right out of the box. It’s a fantastic way to start exploring DIY electronics.”
The MaKey MaKey uses very high resistance switching to detect when any of its 18 inputs are activated, even through materials that aren’t very conductive (like leaves, pasta or people). The MaKey MaKey communicates with your computer using the USB Human Interface Device (HID) specification which means that it can act just like a USB keyboard or mouse. In addition, the MaKey MaKey is also an Arduino-compatible platform, so users can easily re-map any of the keys, or further customize it to their needs.
To learn more about the MaKey MaKey visit (www.sparkfun.com/makeymakey). The regular kit is $39.95 and comes with the MaKey MaKey HID board, an alligator clip pack and a mini-USB cable. The deluxe kit ($49.95) includes everything that the basic kit does, in addition to a second alligator clip pack, a jumper wires pack and a roll of copper tape for even more possibilities. To view a video of the MaKey MaKey in action, visit (https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11085).