The project came about when he was having difficulty getting an expensive input board to work in a haunted house attraction. When he discovered that the iCade keyboard commands worked over a USB connection, he figured he could use an Arduio board and hood the USB side to an iPad and create his own interface. With a bit of research he got his project up and running.
While he used genuine arcade joysticks and a vintage CRT display, it was still lacking in authenticity. The risk of a $0.25 loss was missing. Since emulators basically allow unlimited lives, taking away the gamble of a valuable coin, David disabled that feature and created a little challenge that must be won to add more coins/lives.
The code and many other details about the project (like how to obtain the valuable game play credits) are available on GitHub.
The bunny is made from flexible PLA. LED Matrixes were used for the eyes and a couple of servos were used for the paws.
Mario said the what he learned most from the project was how to multi-task with the Arduino platform – taking the delay function out of his code, but still being able to control 7 LEDs and make 2 servos work at the same time. The size of the Teensy was perfect for this magical bunny.