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Breadboard for Arcade Workshop  1 December 2016

As part of College Awareness Week activities in Grangegorman The RoboSlam volunteer team launched a new workshop, called ArcadeSlam. Whereas the RoboSlam robot-building workshop takes 2 hours for assembly and 3 hours for programming, ArcadeSlam offers participants the experience of assembling their own mini-arcade game in just 90 minutes.

On November 23rd and 24th, eight DIT staff and six DIT undergraduate students worked together to deliver three ArcadeSlam workshops to students from the Grangegorman area in conjunction with the DIT Access & Civic Engagement Office as part of College Awareness Week. Fifty-two students participated aged 12-14, assembled and competed in CopyCat, an electronic game designed by Frank Duignan that is part of a larger repertoire of mini-arcade games by this DIT Lecturer to expose students to electrical and electronics engineering.

 
 
 

CopyCat is a game that requires the student to assemble a mini-arcade game console using a breadboard and simple electronic components. In operating the console and playing the game, the student tries to copy a random sequence or lighting pattern (presented via four coloured LEDs). The goal is to copy the longest sequence, thus “copycatting” what the console lights show, by pressing buttons in a sequence to match how the LEDs are flickering on and off. 

ArcadeSlam 2‌‌

The CopyCat game platform uses the amazingly versatile TIMSP430G2553 memory chip by Texas Instruments and is easily assembled using off-the-shelf parts. The low cost of the memory chip makes this project great for groups of all sizes. Pictures are provided to guide students through the assembly process.

 
ArcadeSlam Image
 

Part one of the 90-minute workshop involved an explanation about the circuit and components. Part two involved assembly of the games. Part three featured a competition to see who copies the longest sequence. Overall, participants got some background theory, did some assembly, and engaged in a bit of fun.

This initiative was supported by the DIT Widening Participation Fund.\

 
ArcadeSlam 3
 

For more information, and to sign up for notification of upcoming RoboSlam events, please visit our website roboslam.com.