This DIY Claw Machine Fulfills All Of Your Childhood Dreams

As any child will tell you there are a few things you want to try every time you see them. When you’re young you want to ride on any coin-operated animal or train you see on the street. A few years later and candy machines are the target. Then, when you get older, you want to play the claw machine. And when you play the claw machine you inevitably begin to cry.

Fear not, child in you, because this claw machine by Retrobuilt Games is fairer, faster, and better than anything in the arcade. It uses Arduino to control a 3D-cut arm and lets you build your own life-completing game for $470.

The creators write:

´┐╝The claw machine functions just like traditional claw machines in arcades, except my machine gives you more control and fairness. The game is based on a timer (there is an LCD indicating how much time is left) which is set to 55 seconds. Insert a quarter (can be set to free-play), and press start. You have 55 seconds to move and position the claw, grab a prize, return it to the “prize chute” and go for more. Once time runs out the claw closes, the gantry moves back to the ‘home position’ and the claw then opens dropping anything it might be carrying. Unlike the traditional Arcade claw machines, my DIY version gives you full control over this claw in the X,Y,Z axis and the claw grip itself. The only restriction is time. Personally, the game is more fun since it’s based less on one-time spatial judgment and more about motor skills and planning the best route for multiple prizes.

I, for one, welcome anything that saves me $5 every time my 9-year-old sees a claw machine in the arcade.