“Bananator”

 

The “Bananator” takes a uniquely designed children’s toy and turns it into a playground of programming and possibility. The MaKey MaKey, described as “an invention kit for the 21st century,” comes in a small box with the MaKey MaKey itself, Alligator Clips, and a USB Cable.

In order to understand the MaKey MaKey better, one can read the inventors’ description of a very simplistic use of the MaKey MaKey: “Alligator Clip two objects to the MaKey MaKey board. For example, you and a banana. When you touch the banana, you make a connection, and MaKey MaKey sends the computer a keyboard message. The computer just thinks MaKey MaKey is a regular keyboard (or mouse).”

When I stumbled upon this interesting contraption, I was immediately sucked into the possibilities somersaulting through my mind of how I could take this simple idea and combine my knowledge of programming and my knowledge of this tool kit to create something catchy, quirky, and fun.

I was able to use the software sketchbook Processing, which uses Java as a base but has a more simplistic structure of syntax and focuses more on the graphics of the code, to communicate with the MaKey MaKey.

Overall, this project was extremely enjoyable, but I realize that this is an ongoing project. There are still many explorations I would like to do, which include playing more advanced songs, importing more advanced sounds that I could possibly even create on my own, making sure that Processing doesn’t crash because of the overflow of sounds storage (a problem I faced during this simple version of my ongoing project), and maybe even incorporating other objects that are compatible with the MaKey MaKey.

Video and more photos coming soon.