The characters and imagery from Portal inspire strong feelings in those of us who love the game, and many people explore those sometimes-confusing feelings using arts and crafts. The latest example is this wonderful, custom-made turret, complete with motion sensor and vocal samples. While the innards are rather simple, the behavior is true to the game. Let’s take a look at the toy, and then see how it was designed.
Here are the electronics you would need to create your own:
“If you’d like, you can download the code. I wrote a function to randomly play a sound file from a given directory, and then tied a directory to each event,” Jonathan Guberman, the turret’s creator, wrote. “It’s not quite as simple as ‘event triggers sound’: it only places a ‘tipped over’ event if it’s also ‘lifted,’ after being righted it plays an ‘activated’ sound before resuming normal behaviour, etc. All it all, the interactivity works pretty well (if I say so myself).”
The sewing pattern will be released soon, there is a list of the needed electronics on the site, and the code is freely available. In other words, you have a great project in your future. There are a few improvements and adjustments to the design that may be coming, so we’ll be following the project, but even now this is a simple—but impressive—example of amateur engineering and toy design.
Just in case you’re not convinced of how great Guberman’s designs can be, take a look at this Pac-Man… sculpture?
Sadly, playing with the well-known characters of other companies has its downsides. “Unfortunately, Namco Bandai was very swift to contact me. While they have no problem with fan projects, they politely but firmly insisted that I not sell it in any way, shape, or form,” he wrote. “They don’t have any procedure in place for licensing to small, artisanal producers, so as much as I’d love to make them available, it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.”
We at Ars would like to point out that he doesn’t have to sell any, just give us one!
More Info: arstechnica.com