Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The Epi-Tomy of Cool

Okay, you've been getting a lot of bad news from me lately, so let's lighten the mood a bit. Recently, I was alerted to this brilliant invention by a hacker named Matt Brailsford. You've got to see this thing in action to believe it.

Matt took apart a Tomy "Turnin' Turbo" toy, added a Raspberry Pi running the OutRun arcade game, then hooked it all up to a tiny display. The steering wheel and shifter are used to control your car, and that would probably be cool enough, but wait, it gets better! See the instrument panel just above the wheel? Matt added extra hardware which reads the values from the game, then accurately displays them on the panel's LED gauges and counters. When you speed up, the tachometer fills and the speedometer rapidly counts upward. When you crash into a palm tree, well, the opposite happens.

This portable arcade cabinet is a ballsy bit of engineering and one of the best hacks I've seen this year. YouTube user Han Neko describes it as "superlative in every way," and I'm inclined to agree... it really doesn't get much better than this.

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