Video: This giant LED Tamagotchi hearts Atmel

The Tamagotchi (たまごっち?) is a handheld digital pet, originally designed in Japan by Akihiro Yokoi of WiZ and Aki Maita of Bandai way back in 1996. According to Wikipedia, well over 76 million Tamagotchis have been sold world-wide.

Image Credit: Wikipedia

The majority of Tamagotchis are housed in a small egg-shaped computer with an interface (typically) consisting of three buttons, although the number of buttons may vary.

However, a Maker by the name of Vadim recently decided to create a unique, desktop-sized Tamagotchi using a spare LED matrix and an Atmel ATmega328P microcontroller (MCU) with an Arduino bootloader.

As HackADay’s James Hobson reports, the LED matrix comprises four 8×8 LED modules with four shift registers (74HC595) and two Darlington transistor arrays to take the current.

“This is because the 256 LEDs need to be multiplexed down to 32 IO’s (16 rows + 16 columns),” he explained.

After the hardware was deemed operational, Vadim started work on the coding side of things, writing the entire game from scratch.

“While it’s not that complex it’s still an impressive amount of effort that went into this desktop- sized Tamagotchi!” Hobson added.

Interested in learning more? You can check out the project’s official Instructables page here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s