The AVR Treasure Chest!


Last week, we gave a follow-up post about the Reverse Geocaching Puzzle Box. Since then, we've received a number of emails about other similar projects. A lot of them were very cool, but one in particular stood out - the AVR Treasure Chest.


Not your average treasure chest.

Originally, the designer created a treasure chest for his sons that had an electronic lock that required his kids to follow clues to open. The chest contained a couple of Nintendo 64 games. Fast-forward to today and his new chest is just a tad-bit more complex.

For one, the chest has a tray that holds an iPod Touch that plays video clues when prompted. Hidden behind one of the decorative buttons on the front of the chest is a rail that pops out holding a written clue. It also has a sound recognition feature that requires playing the correct tune with an Ocarina (Zelda, FTW). In addition, it features an automatically unlocking latch and a key recognition system. Basically, it's the most high-tech treasure chest this side of the Black Pearl - Captain Jack would be downright jealous. Read all about the project here - awesome work!


Comments 13 comments

  • That’s a great project, I would sure like to see the code for this. Mainly the Ocarina Combo Lock… :)

    • zignig: That’s a great project, I would sure like to see the code for this. Mainly the Ocarina Combo Lock… :)<br /><br />
      <br />
      I can add the code and schematics to my website, stay tuned.

  • I love it! I especially like the idea of having the boys play a tune on the Ocarina. That dimension of interaction makes the whole operation its own puzzle video game. Never mind sitting in front of the TV playing songs on a virtual flute, make them do it for real!
    With some serious planning and effort, you could put together a Myst-like quest for kids around the house and yard. I am definitely doing that when I have kids! Better get started today…

    • Thank you so much for the Myst reference…
      I grew up on those games, what an inspired idea for a puzzle-game. And the aesthetics of it have always had an influence on my art.
      I’ve gotta say that building a Myst or Riven-like environment in full scale has always been a life-goal of mine. And to build it in real life, for kids, it just adds another dimension of education because first they learn the rules of the game, then they solve the puzzles, then they have a point of reference from which to learn about the inner-workings of the puzzles (“Dad, what’s this do?” “It’s a Radio Frequency transceiver, It tells the controller stuff from far away” “Oooooooh, like in that one puzzle”) Awwww…
      I can’t wait to have little engineers of my own, hahaha.

  • I love the tune recognition. Projects like these bring endless ideas.

  • Ok I’ve added the source file link at the bottom of the Treasure Chest page.

  • Sweet! The only thing it doesn’t have is GPS, but who cares! It does just about everything else! Props to this guy for his efforts! I really like some of the ingenuity used to build the IPOD tray and the clue dispenser! The tone recognition is just icing!

  • Wow.. Dr. Who/Torchwood has ruined me. I totally thought what would Cpt. Jack Harkness have to do with a treasure chest?
    More on topic did he use a LM567 based tone decoder or was that done in software? (I couldn’t tell from the site).

    • I used the Sparkfun Electret Microphone board, shaped it up with another op-amp and fed that into the Mega48. Used the timer/counter as a simple frequency counter.
      Kelly Small

  • Well done! Can you bury it.. perhaps in a plastic bag?
    One of the best thing about having kids in the family is having a good excuse to create the greatest toys :)

    • Well you can probably bury anything, but the intent is to use this chest as the focal point of the treasure hunt. Plus I cringe at the thought of a shovel hitting the LED board! :-(
      Kelly Small


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