July 10, 2013

Interfacing an NES Power Pad to a PC with Arduino

 To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Nintendo Entertainment System's "Power pad" - the mat that you place on the floor and jump on in various games - the team from Cyborg Dino created a simple method of interfacing it to a computer via an Arduino. As the power pad has the same connections as a standard NES controller, reading the data from the pad is simple with Arduino's digital input pins. At which point it can easily send commands to a PC via the serial line/USB, or if you have a Leonardo or compatible board it can directly emulate a USB keyboard. In the design groups demonstration, they created their own game to work with the power pad - shown in the following video:

That's a great demonstration of using older but still useful fun things with contemporary devices, and all the details can be found here. And for more, we're on twitter and Google+, so follow us for news and product updates as well. 

If you'd like to learn about Arduino - but not sure how to start - then the best way to learn is with our Experimenter's Kit for Arduino:

The package includes a wide variety of parts, sensors and modules including: a servo motor, lights, buttons, switches, sound, sensors, breadboard, wires and more. Furthermore a Freetronics Eleven Arduino-compatible board is included to make this an extensive hobby experimenter, inventor and starter kit. 

However we don't leave you alone to figure it all out, included is a great project and instruction booklet, plus access to a supporting web page and software examples. In other words - this is everything you need to get started for a fun range of electronics and Arduino related projects! So to get started or for more information and to order, check out the product page.

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