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  • Students Design and Build Custom 'Angry Birds' Controller


    The joystick was a fun tool to use for gaming for a while, then the console controller became the commonplace. For PC gaming, the mouse and keyboard have always done the job just fine. When playing Angry Birds however, the mouse and keyboard might not be good enough... at least to a couple of students from Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design. Hideaki Matsui and Andrew Spitz have created their own controller for the popular mobile and desktop game.

    Itís quite the interesting little piece of hardware. It is nothing that you would expect to connect to a computer, just because of the way it looks, however it appears to be really cool to use. The long piece is made to resemble the slingshot that launches the bird toward the pigs and the user needs to pull the bird back and simply launch it to enact the same action in the game on the screen. The piece of hardware can detect its position in space to launch the bird at specific angles, as demonstrated in the video below:



    The other piece of hardware is a ĎTNTí box, which when the handle is pushed down, the special effect of the bird being thrown across the screen is activated. For example, the blue bird will separate into three birds Ė covering more area and the yellow bird will become very strong against wooden structures.

    These controllers are certainly not as practical to use as a mouse might be, just because of the fact that the mouse is a single tool and the custom hardware that has been developed is a set of two tools. The two tools mean that the user needs to rush between tools to perform actions, which fighting against time, could be too late. With a mouse, the userís hand is already on the control device and the user can easily toggle a birdís special ability without needing to move his or her hand.

    The device is a wonderful proof of concept project by the two students and it has some very complex technology behind it:

    Quote Originally Posted by Students
    All the controls found in the game are available in this device. You can control the pull, the angle, and of course trigger the special power of the bird. We hacked a motorized fader found in audio mixing consoles to simulate the force you would feel when using a slingshot.

    We programmed in Max/MSP and Arduino. For controlling the hardware, we used an Arduino-based microcontroller called Music & Motors developed by CIID.

    This was part of the class on Haptics at CIID run by Bill Verplank and David Gauthier.
    The device connects to any USB port on a personal computer. If this were to go on sale sometime in the future, would you consider buying one for your Angry Birds gaming?

    Sources: iClarified
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Students Design and Build Custom 'Angry Birds' Controller started by Anthony Bouchard View original post
    Comments 10 Comments
    1. Senyaichiya's Avatar
      Senyaichiya -
      I don't think so.
    1. mmaboi21's Avatar
      mmaboi21 -
      Wow that's actually pretty interesting. I'd love to get something like this
    1. Anonymous's Avatar
      Anonymous -
      The idea and execution is great but IMHO angry birds is over rated.
    1. Dark_Ninja's Avatar
      Dark_Ninja -
      Quote Originally Posted by Anonymous View Post
      The idea and execution is great but IMHO angry birds is over rated.
      100% agree
    1. bonum83's Avatar
      bonum83 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Anonymous View Post
      The idea and execution is great but IMHO angry birds is over rated.
      Shoot that little bird is a multi million dollar chicken...
    1. EVO's Avatar
      EVO -
      As an engineering major myself, from an engineering and programming perspective, I would say that is pretty impressive.
    1. Memo2001's Avatar
      Memo2001 -
      I dont think that is a good idea👎
    1. RyoSaeba's Avatar
      RyoSaeba -
      Nope. Angry Birds is played out. It's now boring. I've had it on my phone since forever but haven't opened it for at lease 6 months. And I don't feel any urges to play anyway. It was fun while it lasted. Perhaps if this was made 4 years ago, it would be a nice way to play it.
    1. Anonymous's Avatar
      Anonymous -
      Quote Originally Posted by bonum83 View Post
      Shoot that little bird is a multi million dollar chicken...
      I know its worth a lot but it is just very boring to me.
    1. ylluminate1's Avatar
      ylluminate1 -
      This is the best angry birds controller I have ever seen.