Arduino Basketball: Arcade Basketball

Francisco Samayoa, Isaak Shingray, Donato Liotino, Shiloh Light-Barnes

Kate Hartman


November 15, 2018

Project Description

Our proposed sensing method is pressure sensing fabric and digital input buttons. We will be using pressure sensing fabric, conductive fabric, conductive thread, wires, and electrical tape. For props we will use a basketball and a basketball net. In terms of sensor construction, the shot success sensor will be a broken circuit woven into the mesh of the netting that will be completed when the ball passes through the net.  The backboard sensor will be constructed of pressure sensitive material in order to provide an analog signal.  Finally the foot position switches will be incomplete circuits that upon be stepped on by the player will be completed. The backboard and foot switches are both analog, and mesh is digital.

In the end we had to glue conductive fabric onto the basketball because the fabric that was already on the ball was insufficient to complete the circuit. The mesh had to be made tighter in order for the ball to be sensed by the conductive thread. The foot switches were initially digital but we made a conscious decision to change them to analog. Rather than having players where aluminum foil on their feet the players will simply have to step on them.

On the screen there will be a scoreboard that coincides with the points scored. There will also be a timer of 1 minute, where the player will have to score as many points as possible in the allotted time. The score of each throw is calculated based on whether or not the basketball passes through the hoop, the power with which it hits the backboard, and the distance sensor that the player is standing on. This will simulate the actual basketball experience, with the 2-point and 3-point lines. When hitting the pressure sensing fabric on the backboard with enough power, a 1.5x multiplier will be applied to the basket scored. If there was more time, we would add a power score in relation to the amount of pressure the backboard is sensing.

Our vision for the presentation consists of attaching the net to the whiteboard and setting up the foot switches on the ground. The scoreboard will be displayed using a projector. In relation to the image the sensors on the ground will be placed in a semi-circle in front of the net, both at the different distances. Look for this product at your local arcade, coming soon!

Project Code

Photos + Videos
November 13

ball breadboard net net1

November 15
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Project Context

Demortier, Sylvain. “Sigfox-Connected Basketball Hoop.” Arduino Project Hub, 4 Sept. 2017,

This project helped guide our aesthetic for the final product. If you see the picture of his project, it is hanging from the wall with the Arduino tucked behind the backboard. This would be ideal because it wouldn't get damaged and in the way of play. If you look closely you'll also see the positive and negative wires (in his case an IR receiver and emitter) on the side of the net. This would indicate that the ball triggers the score when passing through the hoop. This is the approach we opted for as well.

Instructables. “Arduino Basketball Pop-a-Shot: Upgrayedd.”, Instructables, 10 Oct. 2017,

Another Arduino-based Basketball game. This project was visually impressive as well. The creator even placed the scoreboard on the backboard itself! Visually this was a project we wanted to imitate as well. However, this one uses a distance sensor to the count the buckets. While we decided to use pressure sensing fabric, we did like the idea of a digital scoreboard. And so we decided to reference this example's scoreboard approach, but we used p5.js to create it instead of a quad-alpha numeric display.

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