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Makey Makey - Standard Kit

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.

Makey Makey - Standard Kit Product Help and Resources

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Incorrect Mac Keys?

If you are having troubles getting the keys to work with your Mac, try looking at this excellent third part tool.

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Additional Tech Support Tips/Troubleshooting/Common Issues

For additional tips, check out this comment in our hookup guide.

Core Skill: Programming

If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.

2 Programming

Skill Level: Rookie - You will need a better fundamental understand of what code is, and how it works. You will be using beginner-level software and development tools like Arduino. You will be dealing directly with code, but numerous examples and libraries are available. Sensors or shields will communicate with serial or TTL.
See all skill levels

Core Skill: Electrical Prototyping

If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.

3 Electrical Prototyping

Skill Level: Competent - You will be required to reference a datasheet or schematic to know how to use a component. Your knowledge of a datasheet will only require basic features like power requirements, pinouts, or communications type. Also, you may need a power supply that?s greater than 12V or more than 1A worth of current.
See all skill levels


Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • BrianD / about 12 years ago / 4

    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.

  • -------------------- Tech Support Tips/Troubleshooting/Common Issues --------------------

    Versions of the Makey Makey Looking at the revised v1.2 JoyLabz Makey Makey board, it looks like they are using a PIC chip http://makeymakey.com/mmv1.2.small.png instead of an Atmega32U4 with an Arduino bootloader. The PIC chip is a different microcontroller so you are not able to upload the Arduino code to remap the keys. There is a different method to remap the keys with the revised JoyLabz Makey Makey board. You should look at this link to see if you can remap your board with the PIC chip => http://www.makeymakey.com/remap/.

    Even though there are different microcontrollers used, the overall functionality is the same for the resistive touch sensing.

    Additional Tech Support Tips/Troubleshooting/Common Issues

    Additional Tech Support Tips/Troubleshooting/Common Issues => https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/makey-makey-quickstart-guide/discuss#comment-54906249ce395fae088b456b

    • Member #611131 / about 9 years ago / 1

      Are you carrying v1.2 boards now?

      • M-Short / about 9 years ago / 2

        We are not, if we do (we don't have any current plans to do so) it will have a different product page and a different part number.

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

  • JellyFish / about 12 years ago / 2

    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..

    • ssokolow / about 12 years ago * / 1

      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.

  • Member #484168 / about 10 years ago / 1

    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.

  • Member #488239 / about 11 years ago / 1

    Is this suppose to change to 40% off?

  • Member #353033 / about 11 years ago / 1

    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?

  • Member #364451 / about 12 years ago / 1

    What are the changes in firmware?

  • Member #369069 / about 12 years ago / 1

    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

Based on 10 ratings:

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1 of 1 found this helpful:

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.

1 of 2 found this helpful:

Best thing I've ever purchased

I am in education and I use Makey Makey all of the time. I serve about 12 school districts and the kids love Makey Makey, no matter what the age. This tool is the most versatile I've ever purchased and I use it with all areas of content.

1 of 2 found this helpful:

Love the Makey Makey

We use them for numerous projects in our Library MakerSpace

As advertised

Everything arrived in good condition in a timely manner, just as advertised.

Great to use with 3rd and 4th grade students.

Created a piano keyboard (white keys only C5 - C6) using copper tape on an Azec board. Then used Makey Makey as interface between piano KB and Scratch. Students played Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Another group made a game controller using Play Duh on piece of cardboard and using MM Board and Scratch. Great fun and excitement by this small group of students.

Great Tool for Ed Tech!

The Makey Makey works great and we were able to control our Scratch programs with it. Good quality, and it arrived quickly. Sparkfun has great tutorials for it as well - even for advanced users.

Great for inventing!

I used this item with my middle school students and they loved it! They had an easy time getting the product to work. They found that it is necessary to handle the alligator clips carefully because they clips can break. SparkFun sells replacement kits for the alligator clips.

Makes coding even more fun

I used this in an after school workshop with kids, and it made even the reluctant coders get into it. Lots of fun!

Easy to use, the kids loved it!

The kit is easy to use with very simple set up requirements. Our science club had a ball creating all sorts of wonderful experiments and our year 6 students can't wait to have a go next term when we study electricity. Love it!