Hackaday Badge Project: Nyan Cat

OK, enough probing and learning and experimenting with the Hackaday Belgrade 2018 badge, it’s about time I start writing something that I can put on its successor Hackaday Supercon 2018 badge. What to do?

For the purposes of a badge demo, it should explore areas of badge programming that aren’t already present in existing badge firmware. Because that’s what “demo” means – a demonstration.

I had been fascinated by the LCD module from the start, and the more I learn about it the more I feel it’s been under-utilized by existing badge code. In keeping with the retro computing theme, almost everything on the badge are text-based, leaving the graphics capabilities of the badge largely unused. The ideal project would flex those visual muscles.

Another point of novelty on the badge is the audio subsystem, consuming three of five timers, even more of the precious I/O pins on the chip, it’d be a shame to waste all those resources. I want to make it sing.

poptartcat320240So, what sights and sounds shall I present as a demonstration? A brainstorming session with [amybaldwindev] produced a list of candidates. The top candidate was Nyan Cat the famed YouTube star. Now, the badge won’t be able to play a YouTube video nor play its corresponding sound track. But the video’s source was a relatively simple animated GIF, and others have already done work to simplify the soundtrack.

Adapting an internet meme should make the result appealing to the Superconference audience. Making it an interesting technical demonstration project would almost end up being just a side bonus!

The only downside is that it doesn’t fit with the retro computing theme, but I can live with that.

(Cross-posted to Hackaday.io)

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