Minecraft is a gateway to real electrical engineering with Piper

Minecraft Piper kickstarter

The educational value of Minecraft hasn’t been overlooked, with many schools using the game to encourage creativity in children. But Piper, a very interesting Kickstarter project from San Francisco, takes Minecraft education to the next level. It’s a brilliant box of electronic puzzles, requiring the player to rewire physical computer components in order to solve puzzles in a Minecraft adventure map. 

The pitch video is confident and charming, and will surely convince you that this is something that will benefit the curious students of today. The Minecraft adventure requires you to help re-build a robot that has been damaged by asteroids in its mission to another planet, and to do that you’ll need to assemble various sensors, switches, motion detectors, and buzzers in real life. As you assemble and test these components, you can see the results reflected in the Minecraft game.

The whole system is powered by a Raspberry Pi 2, which is perfectly capable of pushing Minecraft to the 7” display screen. It’s all housed in a custom etched wooden box, which helps add an almost Wallace & Gromit feel to the home-made invention.

Piper has already been successfully funded, with more than quadruple it’s $50,000 goal raised. If you’d like to add even more money to the pot though, the Kickstarter campaign has another nine days to go.