DIY Saturday #3 – MaKey MaKey

What’s MaKey MaKey?

MaKey MaKey is an invention kit for the 21st century. Turn everyday objects into touchpads and combine them with the internet. It’s a simple Invention Kit for Beginners and Experts doing art, engineering, and everything inbetween. We are inspired by the Maker Movement. We want to help people start to think of themselves as Makers and agents of change. Make a piano out of bananas, play Mario on Play Dough, let your kitty take a picture of herself. When you have the “Maker’s Mindset,” you know you can change the world. Before we created MaKey MaKey we worked on other creative tools and invention kits such as: Drawdio and Singing Fingers.

Reviews
“four-year-old daughter has managed to connect the kit” ~BBC
“Rejoice!” ~Mashable
“by far the coolest Kickstarter project” ~Kotaku
“turns the whole world into a keybaord” ~Engadget
“a lot of enthusiasm and love” ~Wired
“crazy, inventive experiments” ~PC World
“We love a good diy project” ~LIfehacker
“So small, so quirky, so simple, so awesome.” ~Contiki
“Mind explosion in progress.” ~Indie Cookie
“turns your alphabet soup into a keyboard” ~New Scientist
“Edison meets OK Go” ~Cool Material

How much do they cost?

$49.99 plus shipping.

Is it easy to use?

Yes. Really all you have to do is alligator clip stuff together and surf the web to find a cool application.

How many alligator clips will come with a Makey Makey?

7 alligator clips and 6 connector wires. Also 1 usb cable. No extra purchases necessary to get the thing to work.

How many keys can be pressed at once with a Makey Makey?

Makey Makey can press as many keys as your keyboard allows at once, which is 6. You can use up to 18 in a session (6 on the front of MaKey MaKey and 12 on the back), but only 6 can be held down simultaneously.

What does the kit include?

FULL KIT – Works out of the Box. Includes: MaKey MaKey, USB Cable, 7 Alligator Clips, 6 connector wires, quick start guide, a colorful retail box, and online documentation.

Can I use multiple Makey Makeys at once on 1 computer?

Yes! You can plug in two or more at once and create an orchestra of Makey Makeys! (tested with up to 3, but could work for more)

How do I use the back of the MaKey MaKey?

The connections on the back of the MaKey MaKey are what’s called “female header.” They’re rows of little sockets, designed for wires to stick into. One easy way to use them is with connector wires (a.k.a. jumper wires), which are wires with little pins on either end that stick nicely into the header. These come in the kit. You can also buy them separately, but be sure to get the male/male ones, like these: http://www.sparkfun.com/products/11026 Jumpers are convenient, but you can also plug regular wire into the header. Solid core wire is best, and you will need wire strippers to remove the insulation from the ends of the wire. You can also find clever ways to use stuff you already have- for example, we’ve found that both paper clips and safety pins work great for this purpose!