Air Ball

by Tadeusz March 8, 2012

A new take on table top games like ping pong & air hockey. This project was made in a littleBits workshop at the 2012 TEI Conference in Ontario. Created by Hamilton Hernandez and Tad Stach.

Bits used: bargraph , branch, dimmer, fan, power , toggle switch, wire

Tags: Light Motion Fun & Games Around the house

Videos and Recipes


  1. 1

    Connect toggle switch to branch

  2. 2

    Connect 2 extension wires to 2 ports in branch

  3. 3

    On the end of one extension wire, we are going to build the Team 1 circuit. So, first connect the extension wire to power.

  4. 4

    Connect power to fan

  5. 5

    Connect extension wire to dimmer

  6. 6

    Connect dimmer to bargraph.

  7. 7

    Your circuit for Team 1 is done! Repeat steps 3-6 to build the circuit for Team 2.

  8. 8

    Now let's build your AirBall Arena. Use foam core to build a box that's approximately 12" x 12" and 3" deep. Cut out all necessary pieces (two 12"x12" squares and four 3"x12" side pieces). Don't forget to take into account the thickness of your foam core.

  9. 9

    Sides A & B: Take two of your 3"x12" pieces, let's call them A & B. On each side, we need to cut two holes for the littleBits; one that is large enough to display the bargraph and one that allows the dimmer to poke through.

  10. 10

    Sides C & D: Take the 2 remaining sides (C & D). On each side, draw a dot in the upper-left corner that is 0.5" away from the top and side edge. Then, where you drew the dot, cut out a circle that is large enough for the plastic dowel to slide through.

  11. 11

    Top Piece: Take one of your 12"x12" squares. We need to cut out a long rectangle hole so that the fan is able to slide back and forth to protect the goal. So, on two opposite edges, cut a rectangular hole that is 0.5" away from the edge and 11" x 3/8".

  12. 12

    Bottom piece: Glue sides A & B to opposing sides of the remaining 12"x12" square. This is the bottom of your box.

  13. 13

    Glue sides C & D to the remaining sides of the bottom square. Don't put the top on yet!

  14. 14

    Now, let's add the littleBits: On sides A & B, glue the bargraph and dimmer into their respective cut-outs.

  15. 15

    On sides C & D, slide a plastic dowel through the hole you cut.

  16. 16

    Next, put the top of your box on. Use a temporary method of fastening, as you may want to adjust or change bits in the future.

  17. 17

    Almost done - next, you have to glue each fan on the end of a plastic down that is inside the arena. The other end of the dowel will be used to slide the fan back and forth. Be careful not to put too much glue or else your fan won't slide!

  18. 18

    Turn on the power & toggle switch and let the game begin! If you or your opponent scores a point, use the dimmers on each side of the arena to keep score on the bargraph.

Bits used (14)

Accessories used (1)


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Other Materials Used (5)

  • Foam Core 1
  • Glue Stick (for hot glue gun) 1
  • Pencil 1
  • Plastic Dowel 2
  • Small Styrofoam Ball 2

Tools (3)

  • Hot Glue Gunun
  • Ruler
  • Xacto Knife
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