The computer scientist and hardware hacker Tom Tilley recently released a video where he built his own trackball controller out of deodorant balls and some other materials you'd find lying around the house to play an obscure Namco racing game called Armadillo Racing. And it turns out the device is also a fantastic way to play Namco's PS2 classic Katamari Damacy.
The original video, posted on Tilley's channel, showed the inventor building the device and detailed some of the makeshift materials used. These include a football, some cardboard, and the aforementioned deodorant balls, as well as an optical mouse that registers the movement. It then ended with the computer scientist giving a demonstration of the trackball in action, with the inventor rolling the device around to make his character run and turn onscreen.
After publishing the video, Tilley was then inundated with requests to do a follow-up showing off Katamari Damacy, and he duly delivered. Earlier today, he posted a tweet on his Twitter page showing the device working with the game running on a PS2 emulator.
As Tilley points out, the controller isn't currently mapped to all of the controls, so you can't use it to dash or perform the 180-degree quick turn, but he believes these inputs could be mapped to extra buttons or actions such as shaking the ball to charge. If you enjoyed this build, we recommend checking out Tilley's YouTube channel: WithProfessorTom. There you will find a bunch of similarly offbeat builds, including a coffee grinder controller and a Paw Patrol toy mod for Super Hang-On.