MaKey MaKey Invention Kit

By: on May 20, 2012
Check It Out

Anything that can turn bananas into a piano keyboard has got to be worth my $35. MaKey MaKey--a Brangelina of Make + Key--elevates everyday objects to interactive touchpads for enhanced computer and Internet experiences. As accessible to beginners as experts, MaKey MaKey begs to turn art projects, engineering endeavors, and everyday forays into the black hole of Facebook into captivating ventures and proud expressions of individuality.

To use, launch a computer program or webpage that requires mouse and/or keypad interaction. Alligator clip objects to the USB-connected MaKey MaKey board to establish a connection. MaKey MaKey will make your computer think it's a regular keyboard or mouse, so you can then use the attached objects--bananas, paper drawings, action figures, dried fettuccine--as your navigators. Confused? Check out the video.

MaKey MaKey supports any object that can conduct electricity, as well as those that cannot on their own, but can if topped with a bit of copper tape, spritzed with water, or rubbed down with a banana. So far, Jay Silver and Eric Rosenbaum, inventors and PhD students at MIT's Media Lab, have also tested the likes of ketchup, pencil graphite, finger paint, Play Doh, and lemons.

So...MaKey MaKey is an all-ages tool--fun, expressive, and educational for adults and chillun' alike. Out of respect for its multi-generational appeal, we're not going to delve into its potential for lewd application. But you can....

OK, fine. Here's one idea.

Silver and Rosenbaum have already achieved resounding success with MaKey MaKey as a Kickstarter project. To get your hands on the inaugural kit release, head over to the site and make a $35 minimum pledge by June 12, 2012. Anticipated delivery date is August 2012. Higher level donations--ranging from $70 to $950--receive additional kits.

November 2013 Update: MaKey MaKey funding was successful. Follow the link below to buy yours now directly from the company's online store.

Buy Now

Black Useless Box Kit

$44.99 from Amazon »

This black box is nearly impossible to put together. Ninety-nine percent of those who try will fail. But for the always-elite 1%, once your corners are aligned and screws affixed, the world will be your oyster. Flip the...

Buy Now

Android MK802 Mini PC

$40.10 from Amazon »

AKA The Other $35 Do-It-All Computer. Running Android 4.0, the MK802 Allwinner A10 Mini PC is about the size of a flash drive and, also like your favorite USB storage device, enjoys being plugged into things. HDMI inputs...

Buy Now

The $35 Do-It-All Computer

$82.01 from Amazon »

The Raspberry Pi sets the bar, and then raises it. Twice. Bar: The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card sized computer that plugs into a TV and keyboard to produce full PC functionality in the form of spreadsheets, word processing...

Buy Now

Air Hammer Compressed Air Tool

$40.46 from Amazon »

The Air Hammer from Ingersoll Rand uses compressed air to deliver a 2-5/8" stroke and 3,500 blows per minute. It comes with a 3-piece chisel set to, uh, drive the job home. Use it to cut metal, fix exhaust systems, and...

Buy Now

Kano - Simple DIY Computer

$149.99 from Amazon »

Simple as LEGO, powered by Pi. The Raspberry techie kind, not the 3.14Infinity kind. Or the fruit kind for that matter, but a DIY mini computer powered by flaky-crusted dessert might be the one element to rocket launch...

Buy Now

The Chaos Machine

$89.99 from Amazon »

Chaos is an area of mathematics that studies complex systems and the mind-blowing effects seemingly small, inconsequential changes can have on them. Dr. Ian Malcolm used one example of the Chaos in action, the Butterfly...

Check it out

Wazer Desktop Waterjet Cutter

$3,999 - $4,499 from Wazer »

Wazer, the self-described first ever desktop waterjet cutter, has a few things going for it. First, if your friend Cornelius has ever sprayed you in the face with a pressure washer, you know how strong a jet of water...

Buy Now

littleBits Star Wars Droid Inventor Kit

$99 from Amazon »

Want your kids to learn a littleBits about tech as you secretly relish the interactive R2-D2 they're building? The Star Wars Droid Inventor Kit hit littleBits shelves just in time for Force Friday II....

Check it out

TinyScreen Video Game Kit

$74.95 from Tiny Circuits »

The Tiny Arcade goes handheld. Tiny Circuits' TinyScreen Video Game Kit gives DIY gamers the chance to build their own miniature console. At the heart of the kit is the TinyDuino processor board, an Arduino Uno board...

Buy Now

Xtend & Climb Telescoping Ladder

$140.65 from Amazon »

Home maintenance. It's an upward climb. Got a good ladder for the ascent? Reviewers love Xtend & Climb's residential Telescoping Ladder. The aluminum climber extends incrementally by the foot to a max height of 12.5'...

Buy Now

Mechanical Wooden Clock Kit

$69.99 from Amazon »

I was going to get my 14-year-old nephew one of these Mechanical Wooden Clock Kits for Christmas, but then I remembered they don't teach kids how to tell analog time anymore so he wouldn't even be able to read it. I also...

Check it out

DIY Cardboard Masks

$7.41 from Etsy »

If you've left costume planning for your Halloween, or Eyes Wide Shut, party to the 11th hour, Steve Wintercroft may have a downloadable solution for you. I say "may" because his nifty animal, skull, and humanoid masks...