An amazing maze, with some Windows Phone 8, Netduino, servos and some 3D printing for flavor...

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We have just about everything in this project. Hardware, electronics, development, mobile even 3D printing!

Netduino + WP8 real-life maze game

When I was young my parents bought me a wooden maze game. I loved that thing. I don’t think I ever cared much for the actual maze element – but the mechanism to tilt the stage was intriguing, and very simple.

When I remembered it the other day I managed to both find it online, and actually find my original one in an old cupboard from storage.

image

Moving on a decade or two, we now have hundreds of these ball games on smartphones using their accelerometers (like this one – a random one from the WP store), but their graphics leave a lot to be desired. Which is why I’ve made a photorealistic one Wink

The objective was to make a maze game that was a merge between the old-school and new-school ones. So the phone is used as a tilt controller to control the physical maze via Bluetooth with a Netduino. The maze is a simple model printed on my 3D printer and is tilted by using two servos. Bonus points for adding a switch mechanism to report back to the phone when the player gets to the end.

What you need:

  • 2 fairly strong servos. I used Turnigy metal-gear ones from HobbyKing.
  • Bluetooth module
  • Netduino
  • Small square maze-like object
  • 10K ohm resistor
  • 4.8V battery pack
  • Conductive ball-bearing/marble

The maze:

This probably took longer than all the other parts combined because my 3D printer’s extruder nozzle jammed up rather solidly. And even when I did eventually get it to print, the result was pretty terrible. However, the actual maze model at the end of this post is perfect and will print fine on your printer if you have one. I printed it 9CM x 9CM because that is about the biggest my Makerbot Thing-O-Matic can print.

image

To make the model, I first went to http://www.mazegenerator.net/ and generated a 9X9 maze. Then imported the result into SketchUp, traced out the lines, and extruded the walls up. I only made the walls high enough to steer the ball – not encase it.

And of course, Matt's made everything that can be downloaded, downloadable...

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