Meet the Maker: Christina & Steven Young, Makers of the littlePinball Machine

Winner of Best littleBits Projects @ HACKCOOPER 2015

March 4, 2015

Christina & Steven Young

theyoungs

 

Christina & Steven Young, a brother and sister duo, really used the littleBits modules to their potential at this year’s Hack Cooper event. The Youngs created a functioning pinball machine, and took home the Best littleBits Project & Best Overall Aesthetics Prizes! They also did a great job combining the tools they had at their disposal, including laser cutters, acrylic sheets and sponsor swag, to create the frame around their circuits.

We are based in New York City

We have used littleBits to make…

Steven: a miniature pinball machine at HackCooper (which we named littlePinball) that featured button activated flippers and a ridiculously roundabout scoring mechanism. Since it was a hackathon project, everything is held together with strips of tape and wishful thinking (I’d be astounded if one of the flippers hasn’t fallen off it’s servo by now).

We started out with the Arduino Coding Kit as a base (which was not ideal because both of our laptops were out of commission) and ran around the building to scavenge parts from other teams who got to the hardware room before us.

To see pictures and the list of bits we used, you can view our project page on ChallengePost here: http://challengepost.com/software/little-pinball

My maker superpower is…

Christina: I like making things pretty! I have a passion for fine art and graphic design.

Steven: I’m good at stretching my resources. I enjoy the challenge of finding creative ways to do things when tools and materials are limited.

 

 

The most exciting project I have worked on is…

Christina: Definitely making littlePinball. It was really exciting to work as a team for the first time, especially on something way outside of both our comfort zones. We originally wanted to code a software app, but computer issues forced us to scrap all of our planning. I see littleBits ads on the subway every morning and really wanted to at least play around with some, but I’d never have imagined that would be able to create our entire project with them. Our technical issues were a blessing in disguise – I doubt trying to code with the both of us having to share one barely working laptop would have resulted in as cool a hack as our pinball machine. And of course, winning both “Best use of littleBits” and “Best aesthetic” made it an extra awesome experience.

I am going to use littleBits to make a…

Steven: We both signed up for the littleBits #InventAnything course (http://littlebits.cc/invent-anything) so maybe we’ll find some inspiration there. I really want to make something with the cloudBit.

Christina: I want to make a motion sensing Portal turret with a bluetooth speaker and laser.

littleBits has taught me…

Christina: That even without the slightest bit of experience, as long as you have creativity you can still make something cool.

Steven: The true meaning of happiness.

 

 

My dream bit is…

Christina: A projector bit to play movies and videos and stuff.

Steven: I’m having a really hard time thinking of something that can’t be made with existing bits. Something like a solar panel power source would be great.