ConnectJS 2015 and Playing with Arduino ConnectJS 2015 and Playing with Arduino

October 19, 2015   |   Development, Tech
Agile League

I just finished presenting at ConnectJS 2015 on Prototyping and DIY Electronics with JavaScript. It was a fun crowd and I had a great time.
The big accomplishment was what we made outside the talk when we had a spare hour with our breadboards and jumper wires! I snagged an enthusiast from the crowd and we (mostly he…) created the classic Jeopardy Buzzer game where each contestant goes for their buzzer and the first to press the button wins. Here’s the final product in all its Borg-like glory.
The gameboard
My main contribution was connecting my Arduino camera control to get action shots as the contestants dashed for their buttons.
If we look close at this picture (probably my favorite) you can see that the contestant on the right has no respect for the fragility of the board. He wants to win, so he goes at the board with this whole palm. No hunting for the actual button, JUST CRUSH IT!
Hopefully we showed that with an hour and a handful of parts, you can create some really fun hardware. Don’t expect to change the world, but hopefully you’ll get a few smiles. And as we can see from some of these shots, we did get quite a few smiles.

Special Thanks

Carlos Alcazar

While I was chatting, Carlos was building. He built 95% of the buzzer game, and even included actual audible buzzers. He deserves all the credit for the success of the buzzer game. To hear about his sweet Arduino-controller turbocharger, check out Carlos’s blog, The coding patch.

Pratik Pratel

Thanks to Pratik for letting us set up shop on the AtlJS booth. In about 10 seconds we had it covered with breadboards, wires, and bent up LEDs. Without the booth space, none of that would have been possible.

Contestants / Victims

A big thanks to everyone who bravely reached into a mess of wires to press an unknown button. That shows a lot of trust in your fellow human beings!


Sparkfun sent me a lot of the parts that we used to build the game. Everything you need to build your next project is just a click away on Sparkfun!



I’ve uploaded my slides from the talk here, so feel free to check them out. 2 warnings, however:

  1. The slides are intended to just remind me to chatter a bit. Without me there to narrate, there’s not much here.
  2. Keynote has trouble exporting my code examples for some reason. Luckily, in this case they’re very simple. Just do a quick search for “Arduino LED blink” or “Johnny Five LED blink” and you’ll find what you need.


All the rest of the photos are available in my Flickr album. Feel free to take them and use as you please.

Libraries/Tools In the Slides

  • Arduino – Where you can go to learn about the underlying board and language.
  • Johnny Five – Library for controlling your Arduino from Node.
  • Cylon – Another Library for controlling your Arduino from Node.
  • pi-gpio – Control the Raspberry Pi GPIO from Node.
  • rpi-gpio – Control the Raspberry Pi GPIO from Node, plus support for callbacks and async.
  • onoff – Control the Raspberry Pi GPIO from Node, with support for async and interrupts.