Super Mario fans know that, in the absence of a regular game controller, or just for fun, they can use other devices to move the avatar of the iconic character. It could be, for example, the Guitar Hero guitar, or a Donkey Kong bong. But, how about using the physical Mario himself, in this case a Lego Super Mario doll?
That’s exactly what a hardware hacker named Rick did. In some tweets published earlier this month, he demonstrated his great discovery: using the LEGO Mario doll to control the movements of the virtual Mario in the game Super Mario Bros.
Turning real into virtual
The LEGO Super Mario toy was designed so that gamers could do a kind of live-action with Nintendo characters in scenarios built with the famous blocks of the Danish company. But for @ r1ckp, Rick’s handle, this is for the weak. He decided to transform the real into the virtual.
For this, it took advantage of the existing technology in the LEGO doll, which, to communicate with the digital interface of the toy, is equipped with an accelerometer, color sensor, gyroscope and Bluetooth. Rick explained that he intercepted the signals that Mario sends over Bluetooth. After discovering the protocol, he connected the signals to the emulator controls.
According to the “hardware hacker”, the whole setup took about four hours. After sharing the experience on Twitter, he promises to release the code at some point, allowing other fans to also duplicate the fun game to have a different experience. Okeydokey!