Maker creates a Tron and Star Wars-inspired control panel for his computer


This fully-functional, overhead control panel will be the most awesome thing you see today.


Most of us rely on a keyboard and mouse to perform tasks on our computers. Not Redditor user “smashcuts.” Instead, the Maker has built a fully-functional overhead control panel for his PC, complete with 100 programmable buttons and switches that trigger all kinds of actions, from the useful to the absurd.

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As you can imagine, constructing such a complex device was no easy task. To make this a reality, the Maker employed the combination of a USB hub and controllers, LEDs for the backlighting, an Arduino Mega (ATmega2560) for the blinking lights and a HAL unit from Think Geek. These electronics are all housed inside an enclosure made from a metal junction box and laser-etched acrylic panels.

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While the project itself was a pretty elaborate endeavor with some serious functionality, it was all done in good humor. There’s a green ‘Main Systems’ section which turns on his most frequently used programs, such as Chrome, Photoshop, Premiere, After Effects and iTunes. Meanwhile, a central unit controls all of his main OS shortcuts like open, save and close.

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He’s also included a category that he calls ‘Panic Control,’ with three toggles for stress management. According to smashcuts, ‘Don’t Panic’ cues a hitchhiker’s guide YouTube video, ‘Serenity Now’ cues a Firefly clip, and ‘Hold Steady’ plays songs from his favorite band. As if that wasn’t enough, there’s a ‘Wave Collider’ panel that allows him to activate various iTune playlists and choose ‘More Rock’ or ‘Less Rock’ depending on his mood.

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Beyond that, buttons in the bottom left-hand corner type a variety of laughter into open chat windows, including the common ‘HA,’ ‘HAHA,’ or ‘HAHAHA’ for extremely funny moments. There’s even a ‘Weapons System,’ which emits humorous sound effects. Despite some of its comedic features, this was surely an impressive build!

If you’ve ever dreamt of using a Star Wars/Tron-like control panel, you’ll want to check out the Maker’s project in its entirety here.

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