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SparkTwister: A Wearable Game Using the Spark Core #WearableWednesday


Neat project for a fun sounding game from Instructables user borchers.

SparkTwister is a physical game for 4 or more players. Each player wears a simple controller bracelet made of a board with a SparkButton shield and an RGB sensor. When the game starts, all LEDs on your bracelet light up in the same color. Now you have to find another player with the same color and hold your bracelet against theirs. When you do, the RGB sensor on your bracelet will detect this, and the two of you each score one point. One LED on your bracelets will turn off to indicate this, and the rest will change to a new random color, for which you now have to find a new matching player. So you’re always running around, trying to find (and convince) others to pair their color-matching bracelets with yours instead of those of other players. Whoever manages to first turn off all LEDs on their bracelet, wins the game. But of course, who would pair their bracelet with a guy who is only one LED away from winning the game?…

Each bracelet also sends its current player ID, score and color wirelessly to the iWall, an open-source interactive façade display with 20,000 RGB LEDs we developed recently. The iWall displays a current bar chart of all players competing, on the side of our Computer Science building.

SparkTwister was created entirely during our November 2014 Build Night. Thanks to and Instructables for your support!

Authors: Dominik Schlütter (Core code), Gustavo Brant de Carvalho Marques (bracelet), David Peters (RGB sensor code), Jan Thar (RGB sensor board), and Prof. Jan Borchers (project lead), all from Dorkbot Aachen at RWTH Aachen University in Germany. Thanks to all other Dorkbotters for their support, especially Wolfgang for his twist on our game idea!

For 8 players, you need:

  • 8 Spark Cores
  • 8 Spark Buttons (shields)
  • 8 Kingbright KPS-5130PD7C RGB color sensors (e.g., from Farnell Germany)
  • 3 SMD resistors, 0603, for the sensor (1 x 2.2MΩ, 2 x 1MΩ)
  • Eight small custom single-sided sensor PCBs (we provide the design files) as a small shield to hold the SMD RGB color sensor chip
  • 3 strips of 40 straight header pins each for soldering onto each sensor PCB
  • 8 two-pole straight plastic female headers for the battery cables with crimp connectors (and a crimping tool)
  • Eight 3-AAA battery holders with cables
  • 24 AAA alkaline batteries or NiMH rechargeables (eneloops work well)
  • Access to a 60x30cm lasercutter (e.g., an Epilog Zing)
  • One 60×30 cm sheet of 3mm cardboard (we use “Finnpappe”) to cut out the double-layer bracelets
  • 6m of 1cm wide Velcro tape for the bracelets (the kind that has hooks on one side and fleece on the other)
  • Eight 20cm cable ties to hold the batteries inside the battery holders and attach them to the bracelet

Read more.


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