a machine that beats the electronic Simon game

The Simon game was introduced in 1978 and been very popular ever since. Personally, I’m not very good at memory games, so I’ve decided to create a machine to help me. I’ve wanted to build such a machine for a long time, but as I’m not a mechanical designer, I could not find a practical solution that would hold everything I needed in place.

Lately I’ve got some inspiration from 3d wood puzzles, and RC airplane flight control surfaces using servo motors, and I finally had a basic idea of how It should look like.

At first, I draw by hand and cut some cardboard pieces, so I can work on the basic structure and finalize the dimensions. When I was happy enough with the results, I sketched everything on fusion 360, and created DXF files.

My favorite wood shop gave me some 6mm scrap plywood for free, and I headed to a local maker-lab to cut it with a laser cutter.

Now that I had all the components, I started to build the robot. My design was not complete yet, so I had to do a lot of trial and error till I got the servo wires at the correct length and had to drill some extra holes so that the arms moved to the correct place.

Next, I used hot glue to mount some light sensitive resistors that would act as the eyes of the machine. I soldered everything and connected all the wires to an Arduino board using a shield breadboard I had from an old project.

At this stage everything was in place and I’ve started testing the software that senses the lights and triggers the motors to press the Simon keys at the correct sequence. I had to fix some wiring mix ups, find a better cable management solution and debug some software issues, but in the end – it works!

The design is still far from perfect, but if you’re interested, here are the source files

EDIT: this article was featured on hackaday.com and hackster.io