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Need help for a individual buttons to activate a computer

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by pengyou, Apr 14, 2012.

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  1. pengyou

    pengyou

    5
    1
    Apr 14, 2012
    I teach primary school students English in Taiwan. I have a lot of multimedia "toys" but I find that they are not very effective because the students cannot interact with them. I would like to make a "device" that is a long cable - 12 feet long (more or less). There will be about 8 buttons on this cable that correspond to keys on the keyboard of a standard computer keyboard (ideally programmable) I want to be able to put 8 pictures on the board and one button next to each picture. When a students hears the sound of that picture s/he has to run to the appropriate button and press it.

    Probably as clear as mud....Any ideas on how to proceed? There may be something out there now that does this, especially given the xbox, psp stuff. I have not done anything with electronics in 30 years but if given a simple project feel or schematic feel I can put it together.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2012
  2. CocaCola

    CocaCola

    3,635
    5
    Apr 7, 2012
    Well overall isn't not an overly complicated device to build since many generous coders have already built (and shared freely) the USB or PS2 keyboard underlying code for most µ-chips to simulate a keyboard, thus taking the hard part out of the design... That is if you want it to interact with a computer... It's even easier to build if you just want something the does say a red or green light indication if you are right or wrong...

    Some clarification on all the aspect in your head would be nice...
     
  3. timothy48342

    timothy48342

    218
    0
    Nov 28, 2011
    How about something like this:
    http://www.fentek-ind.com/xks16.htm
    (You have to scroll down the page a little bit to "X-keys Programmable Key Stick.")

    When searching on google, try some of these keywords:
    keyboard
    keypad
    numberpad
    pad
    extention
    programmable
    macro
    shortcut
    control
    function
    keys
    buttons
    big
    large

    (mix and match combinations of those and you should find some more products like that.)

    You'll also find some programmable gaming joysticks. A lot of those will have buttons that are too small and close together to see or lable, but some might be ok.

    Also, (@everyone) what was that one game where you have to dance on the pad and it can tell where your feet are landing? I wonder if those might be programmable.

    --tim
     
  4. CocaCola

    CocaCola

    3,635
    5
    Apr 7, 2012
    DDR (Dance Dance Revolution)

    Those pads are likely standard USB protocol if they are for a current generation game system... I say likely only because I'm too lazy to verify, I believe all current generation game systems use USB for wired controllers...
     
  5. timothy48342

    timothy48342

    218
    0
    Nov 28, 2011
    Dance Dance Revolution! Of course. (I never played it) There are lots of games like that now.

    I think I understand how you want to use it. You will play audio of an english word, like "chair" and the student must understand the word and press the button with a picture of a chair.

    So what about something on the floor instead of buttons?
    [​IMG]
    The pictures can be large and visible from far away and the student would run up and step on it. (You would lay out the pictures so as to cover the whole board, or lay down large plain cloth or paper and then pictures on top of that.)

    It might be good to find someone that has one or knows how to program it to find out if it would work for you. You would not what to get one that is designed to work with just one game.

    If you find something that works, but the USB cable is too short, you can get extension cables for those.

    -t
     
  6. CocaCola

    CocaCola

    3,635
    5
    Apr 7, 2012
    Like I said most are standard USB protocol, just monitor the output on the computer as a USB device and you will get the value for each pad pressed... The floor pad is mapped exactly like the controller, so all you need is for example is software like this guy has to interface it to Windows...

    http://www.davieslim.com/ps3/using-ps3-controller-in-windows/

    He even supports PS3 bluetooth, so you take the pad and do what this guy outlines to make is bluetooth... Hopefully with A LOT less hot glue :)

    http://community.us.playstation.com/thread/3883364?start=0&tstart=0

    The program for the computer at the core from that point is pretty dead simple, you will spend more time polishing up the looks of the program vs actually writing the code that monitors the input...

    And I never played DDR either but I did have teenager at home when it was all the rage...
     
  7. pengyou

    pengyou

    5
    1
    Apr 14, 2012
    Wow! Bonanza! I am hoping to find buttons that are 2" or so so that they are easy to touch/hit. I will search on those words to see what I can find.

    Thanks!
     
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