By Marco Ventimiglia on February 24, 2022
Beer Pong and its derivatives are some of the most popular games on college campuses, but they aren’t all that exciting with just a few cups at the ends of a plastic folding table. Meet the interactive table tennis table, created by Instructables user boregan1. It features a fully customized board game experience with a large matrix of LEDs running under the center and 20 total cup zones that can be used to play more intriguing games. There are even arcade buttons surrounding the sides of the table that act as video game controllers when players just want a quick match.
A total of four Arduino Nano were used to build the Interactive Pong Table, each of which is responsible for a single aspect and communicates with the others via the I2C protocol. In the center is the main controller that manages the LED matrix, built using WS2812b RGB LED strips, central and the game logic. It can show animated and fun graphics in the center of the table and even perform classic pong. The cups at either end of the table are traced with the use of infrared emitter / receiver pairs that change their voltage each time a cup is removed. This allows the LEDs under the cups to light up or play an animation if one is removed. Also, the game running on the main controller can keep track of which player has the fewest cups remaining.