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Description: You may be the greatest living banana-pianist, but how will you ever know if you don’t make yourself a banana piano? Good news, that project and countless others are easier than you think they are with MaKey MaKey.

Using the MaKey MaKey you can make anything into a key (get it?) just by connecting a few alligator clips. The MaKey MaKey is an invention kit that tricks your computer into thinking that almost anything is a keyboard. This allows you to hook up all kinds of fun things as an input. For example, play Mario with a Play-Doh keyboard, or piano with fruit!

The MaKey MaKey uses high resistance switching to detect when you’ve made a connection even through materials that aren’t very conductive (like leaves, pasta or people). This technique attracts noise on the input, so a moving window averager is used to lowpass the noise. The on-board ATMega32u4 communicates with your computer using the Human Interface Device (HID) protocol which means that it can act like a keyboard or mouse.

There are six inputs on the front of the board, which can be attached to via alligator clipping, soldering to the pads, or any other method you can think of. There are another 12 inputs on the back, 6 for keyboard keys, and 6 for mouse motion, which you can access with jumpers via the female headers. If you wish to use a different set of keys, or otherwise change the behavior of your MaKey MaKey, you can simply reprogram it using the Arduino environment. Oh yeah, we didn’t mention that the MaKey MaKey is an Arduino-compatible controller? That’s right, it runs the Leonardo bootloader so reprogramming is fast and easy.

Note: Now included with the MaKey MaKey is a USB cable, pack of jumper wires as well as a pack of alligator clips!

Note: See the GitHub link below for support with the Arduino IDE.



Replaces: WIG-11085

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Customer Comments

  • Suggestion: add a grounding wrist strap with alligator clip to the kit, or at least carry one in general inventory. It would simplify the ground path, especially for littler kids. Just put the strap on, and go play.

  • Could I DIY this with Arduino Duemilanove(FTDI chip)?

  • Can you guys Just sell the cable and HID Board? Because I already have Millions of the rest of it…. And so does every other person on this website..

    • Agreed… though, in my case, it’s the USB cables that I have coming out my ears and the jumpers and alligator leads I may or may not have a few of.

      Probably best to just offer an option to buy the board completely on its own and let price-conscious users add whichever extra components we want to our carts manually.

  • Hey it’s me Santa Will there be more Makey Makeys for Me to deliver for Christmas. I see the spark-elfs are making 300 send down the red bull to the elf’s factory. HO HO HO.

  • Is this suppose to change to 40% off?

  • Has anyone figured out a way to use the MakeyMakey to keep playing a sound while a “key” is pressed and then stop playing when it is released?

  • What are the changes in firmware?

  • Does anyone else have the problem where the board triggers without earth connected only when hooked to a laptop with the power brick plugged in? Unplug the brick, works perfect. Vanilla Lenovo T61.

    Truly awesome device for family fun!

  • I wish the retired kit had the jumper wires when I bought them…..So helpful!!!! But thank you sparkfun for meeting our requests!!

    • We really enjoy trying to incorporate everything folks have to say! Sorry we couldn’t get it right on the first try. I’m glad to hear we’re making it better as we go :)

Customer Reviews

5 out of 5

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Everything I Expected

The Makey Makeys are working well. Ordered for a whole series of workshops this spring and summer. Now I just have to settle down and let the creativity flow.