Playing real-world Space Invaders with real-world lasers

Atmel | Bits & Pieces

Warning: Do not try this at home.

When it comes to old-school arcade gaming, Space Invaders undoubtedly joins the ranks of Pac-Man as one of, if not, the most influential 8-bit pioneers. Originally released in 1978, the laser cannon shooting game led the way for the industry in migrating from just Pong-inspired sports games towards action-packed ones involving fantastical scenarios. However, the pixelated blocky graphic graphics always seemed a little unrealistic. That’s why one engineer has made a real-world version with real-world lasers.


In anticipation of Arduino Day 2015, Martin Raynsford — who happens to be one of the owners of UK-based laser cutter manufacturer Just Add Sharks — decided to brought the idea to life using the hardware of a modified Whitetooth A1 laser cutter along with a laptop keyboard to serve as its gamepad. An Arduino Nano (ATmega328) was also mounted to a custom 80W laser controller to enable side-to-side movement to help shoot the paper invaders, each clipped to a plate and driven by stepper motors.

“X,Y and…

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