There is so much space inside the chassis! Enough for a full Raspberry Pi and related extras. The first hack that we would do with this board is to replace the D cell batteries for a USB power supply and buck converter.
The second hack would be to put a Raspberry Pi Zero W inside along with some L298D motor controllers and use the Anvil Python web framework (anvil.works) to build a web interface to control the grabber and play the game from our phone.
It would be great to add a few extras to this unit; for example, an Arduino could be used to power a handful of NeoPixels which would light up the game when in use.
With so much space on offer, there really is no limit to what you can do with this game!
As it comes, this is a great game to play with friends, and we can see it being used at parties in the holiday season. But the ease with which this game can be hacked with off-the-shelf components means that we can have our own internet-enabled candy grabber game and let our friends play the game from their smartphone.
The simplicity of the build does not detract from how clever it is. Limit switches, motors, and gears all work well to provide a little arcade fun at home.
We mentioned Anvil in the teardown as it is a rather clever piece of kit. Anvil is a framework that enables a user to design an application and front end for a Python project hosted directly on the web.
Everything that makes up the app is in Python. It has a special library for the Raspberry Pi that enables remote control of the GPIO pins. So we can directly control the pins from a smartphone, and in turn, control the motors of the candy grabber.
We can also get data from the Raspberry Pi and display it in our app. So if we are building a temperature sensor, we can send that data back to the app and create a graph using the data, in real-time. Anvil’s basic tier is free and is plenty for budding IoT makers to get their teeth into.
Candy Grabber - £18.99 - from Ebay