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Raspberry Pi-Powered BMO Brings Adventure Time To Life


So many Adventure Time fans wish that they could have their own personal BMO, a quirky living game system from the show. If you’re not yet familiar, watch the video below, it will give you a quick taste of BMO’s role. Obviously based on the GameBoy, BMO is the digital friend that many of us see when we gaze backwards at our childhood times with a Game boy through the lenses of nostalgia.

Mike Barretta didn’t want to leave this playful incarnation to the rose colored imaginary memories of our past, nor just the tv show which created it. Instead, he designed and built a real BMO handheld gaming system using the Raspberry Pi!

BMO is one of my all time favorite Adventure Time characters, who doesn’t love BMO? He is full of personality from the way he is written to his awesome retro design. As a major plus his boxy shape made the design process a lot smoother. The way I placed the components wound up with a fairly chunky design but that was perfect because BMO has a fairly chunky look!

While it may not hop around and sing silly songs, this BMO can play plenty of games thanks to the Raspberry Pi nestled inside

If you wanted recreate your own, Mike has shared the complete bill of materials to help. You can get the files and more information on Thingiverse, and view a massive gallery of pictures of the build! There are 160 images in all, here are a select few.

I ran into one major glitch that nearly drove me crazy. The Rpi A+ would not output composite video (I designed around a cheap composite display) even with no HDMI plugged in. It took 3-4 days of head scratching before I found a trick online. In the in the config.txt file add the line hdmi_ignore_hotplug=1. This tells the Pi to completely ignore the HDMI output and got my composite display to work. As a downside it shuts off HDMI output but the line can be removed by editing the .txt file on a regular PC.

This is such a well done project, not a huge surprise from Mike Barretta. Last time we saw him, he had built this incredibly sleek Raspberry Pi handheld.

Overall this project is actually a continuation of my original Portaberry project. I tried to use the lessons I learned from that project to create a smaller and sturdier design. As far as continuation is concerned, midway through working this design around the Raspberry Pi A+ the Rpi2 was released. Seeing as the Pi2 can emulate up to the N64 it seems like the opportunity exists to build an extremely capable handheld around a Pi2 with a complete set of modern controls. As far as these kinds of projects go I believe that would be a ‘killer app’ and something I would like to try in the future.

3 thoughts on “Raspberry Pi-Powered BMO Brings Adventure Time To Life

  1. very cool!

    I’m looking at this and thinking…there’s no reason you COULDN’T add some servos, legs and arms, and a motor shield and have a dancing, singing BMO. (adds this to the growing list of projects to do)

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Senior Editor for Make: I get ridiculously excited seeing people make things. I just want to revel in the creativity of the masses! My favorite thing in the world is sharing the hard work of a maker.

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