Arduino controlled typewriter can send and receive text
Interactive fiction leaps forward into the 21st century thanks to Canadian tinkerer Jonathan Guberman. Expanding on some of the ideas behind the USB Typewriter project, he has built into a venerable electronic typewriter the ability to both send and receive text.
An Arduino board makes sense of the multilayered solenoid array that triggers the keys. Information is transferred to and from a nearby computer via USB, and laser cut acrylic guides help keep the myriad of lines running out to the keys from getting tangled.
This incarnation of the Automatypewriter has been rigged to play Zork, the legendary stalwart of the Interactive Fiction genre. For those who don’t have an arduino powered mechanical typewriter of their own, do not despair – you can fire up Zork right here inside your browser.
A detailed description of the project appears on Jonathan’s blog, including schematics for the solenoid control board. Team this up with Modkit + Ponoko + SparkFun and you’ll soon be losing yourself in mechanical retro gaming adventure land.