Photo by Eric Schneeweis

Photo by Eric Schneeweis

As if you needed another reason to check out the free Milwaukee Maker Faire on September 27 and 28 at the Wisconsin State Fair Park, Milwaukee Makerspace member Adam Cohen let us in on one of the cooler exhibits you’ll see there — the Laser Maze.

If you’ve watched movies or television in the last … ever … you’re probably familiar with the laser hallway trope. (See Entrapment, Ocean’s Twelve, and many, many more.)

It’s really not a complicated build, says Cohen, who built one for last year’s MakerFest (pictured). He attached laser pointers to the walls with Sugru and tape, bounced them off of mirrors, and positioned solar panels where the beams fell. The panels he plugged into an Arduino which controls a countdown timer. The space is darkened, and a fog machine makes the beams visible. As you travel through the maze, time gets added to your score every time you break a beam, and a leaderboard shows the best times.

“It was really popular, the kids loved it,” says Cohen of last year. “It’s really something anyone that has a minimal amount of Arduino experience can set up pretty quickly.”

If you want to channel your inner Catherine Zeta-Jones and give it a shot yourself, take a crack at the Laser Maze leaderboard.

laser maze