How To Use An Exercise Bike As A Controller For Mario Kart

Now, this is exergaming with a purpose. Modder Brent Smith of Canada rigged an old exercise bike with some sensors, switches, transistors, and the indispensable Arduino microcontroller, turning the whole thing into a Super Nintendo controller for use in Mario Kart.

Pedaling at a certain rate equals holding down the A button for acceleration, and steering is done via buttons on either side of the handlebars. They're fairly sensitive. "This is a lot harder than it looks," Smith says, and watching his kart go driving off-road, cutting corners off each lap, sort of bears that out. A button in the center of the handlebars is for special items like banana peels, shells, etc.

But this is hooked directly into a Super Nintendo console. No emulators, he says. A commenter suggested that he use Donkey Kong Jr. in his next demonstration. "I could barely win with Mario," Smith says, "handling the awesome´╗┐ speed that is DKJr would have killed me.


Another video shows him playing a flash game in which he controls a tank, switching from drive mode to a gunner mode, with the pedals controlling both the tank's acceleration and gatling gun. Check it out.

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