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UK game room company Liberty Games has figured out a novel way for anyone to play one of its stand-alone games: it’s hooked up a crane machine to the internet for anyone to control, calling it Santa Claws. As a bonus, any toys caught translate into real dollars (or pounds, rather) that will be donated to St Mungo’s, a charity that provides support to the homeless.
To get it running, Liberty Games took a Sierra crane machine and attached a camera to the front. This allowed the company to livestream the crane, but then they needed people to be able to control it through a web browser. For this, they used PiFace and PiRack to code an API for the crane that allows its functions to be controlled remotely, and also send feedback when a game is over or a prize is scored. The web server was then linked up so buttons on the webpage can control the crane. The result is a webpage with a live feed of the crane machine, and four controls to try and nab a toy in 40 seconds: up, left, right, and grab.
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Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.