Hack-a-Sketch takes classic toy digital [Video]

Chris Davies - Nov 23, 2009
Hack-a-Sketch takes classic toy digital [Video]

Electronic versions of the classic Etch-a-Sketch aren’t particularly unusual, but so far this is the first time we’ve seen Arduino-controlled knobs with physical resistance and a proper shake-to-clear integrated into such a project.  The Hack-a-Sketch takes a Lenovo ThinkPad laptop and adds the usual two Etch-a-Sketch rotary knobs; this time, though, they’re hooked up to two potentiometers which control the onscreen drawing.

Video demo after the cut

Built into the knob board is a mercury switch used to trigger the screen-clear action.  As with the original toy, shaking the laptop harder clears the screen faster and more completely; of course, in the original there was less chance of hard-drive damage after particularly vigorous shaking.

Project builder Michael has released the source code for the Arduino, and so if you’re tempted you could build one yourself.  Using a Tablet PC or an old UMPC would mean you could create something that looked more like a proper Etch-a-Sketch, too.


[via MAKE]

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