Fun Project taking shape

A couple of months ago I came across this nice kickstarter initiative called Kano. Well over 13 thousand people backend them up; and they collected 15 times the 100K dollar they needed to kickstart their product. Well Done!

We just had to order one trying to deepen my son interest in computer(game)s somewhat using the fun Kano Blocks environment to learn about programming using Minecraft as an excellent instrument to teach the logic of coding and 3D encoding.

Kano raised over $1 million on kickstarter, from nearly 12,000 backers including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak The whole kit assembled plugs into a standard HDMI port and wireless Bluetooth keyboard

Kano is built on a Raspberry Pi single-board computer running a heavily modified linux-distribution.

Before switching to a Bachelor degree in Computer Science, I studied Electronics at the K.M.T.S. in Utrecht. Something in playing with this Kano computer (re)sparked my interest in some electronics.

A tool to test electronical components, build by yours truly while at KMTS highschool in 1987 Arduino is an open-source single-board micro-controllor

But a Raspberry Pi is still a complete computer and I was looking for something more hands-on, and remember that I read a lot about Arduino’s in MAKE magazine in the past few years. The Arduino seems to be a perfect toy for a fun project. All I needed now was an idea.

And at sometime during the new few days an idea seemed to fall in place:
What if I tried to make a simple slotmachine using an Arduino?

That would need to have a lot of different components; like running stepper motors to drive the reels, trying charlieplexing as a simple way of multiplexing approximately 10 different buttons to the limited pins of the Arduino and using a Serial Pheriperal Interface to drive approximately 100 different LED’s for the display with the very limited input pins. If this was not going to provide enough of a challenge, what else would?

An image of the original Jokers Wild slotmachine (obviously) found at a website called Another image found online of the original display for sale, unfortunaly no longer available

When I was 17, studying Electronics, there was one particular fruitmachine I liked to play. That particular machine, called Jokers Wild, and it’s gameplay will be my example in building a tribute fruitmachine based on an Arduino.

That should be fun, shouldn’t it?