A Maker by the name of Joonas has designed a knock sensor to activate his PC. According to the HackADay crew, the entire project cost Joonas a grand total of $10 and is built around Atmel’s ATtiny45 MCU which is tasked with emulating a PS/2 device.
“This takes advantage of his computer’s ability to boot upon receiving PS/2 input,” HackADay’s John Marsh explained. “The build uses a Piezo buzzer and a 1M Ohm resistor as a knock sensor exactly as the official Arduino tutorial demonstrates, [plus] one of those PS/2-to-USB adapters that are most likely lurking in the back corner of every drawer in your office.”
In addition, says Marsh, AVRweb was used to disable the 8X clock divider so there would be sufficient clock cycles for PS/2 communication. Joonas subsequently loaded some test code (final version posted to Github) to ensure the vibrations were being detected correctly.
The box is fairly easy to put together, as basic components include an MCU, a piezo element (amplifier) for the knock sensor and a motor to provide the knocking feedback.