Banana clicker recipe

Next up, following from the Homopolar motor, is the banana clicker.

This is a great way to impress your audience at any presentation, so I'll now need to find another trick... but I'll share this with you for your pleasure... just don't tell anyone until you've used this to impress your next audience.

Instead of using a fancy clicker to advance your slides, use your banana.

In short: buy this (or one of these), plug it in, connect banana and impress.

In a bit more detail (and cheaper set-up): An Arduino has a USB plug, and can pretend to be a computer USB keyboard if it is running this program. (You could buy or build your own Arduino, and just download the open source code...)
The code effectively looks for conductivity between connectors, and when it measures conductivity, it sends the "key press". A banana conducts (providing you hold on to the other (ground) wire... or you can hook it up to ideally a steel lectern). Other fruit works too, do experiment.
And the Makey Makey is pre-programmed to be able to send left/right arrows, which will change your slides.

Other fun things you can do with this set-up.

  • Make the computer do something when you kiss your loved one (A good kiss is also conducting... I've tested it.)
  • Build a Scratch program do act on your banana (or play dough!)  touches
  • Fire up Garage Band and select "funny noises" keyboard... now douching different fruit will generate funny noises. Hooked up to big sound system makes a great kids party.
Expert tip: Do think carefully before using this as your only way of controlling your slides, as in my experience, the code does not filter debouncing out well enough. Also, make sure you have a few slides without surprises to show going back and forward, without disclosing the future slides prematurely once you hooked up your banana.

Have fun!


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