Monkey Ball Controller
Image: @DrTomTilley

Back in January of last year, we reported on the computer scientist and hardware hacker Dr. Tom Tilley and his offbeat custom controller for Katamari Damacy built out of old deodorant balls.

Well, now it seems he's taken this invention to even more ridiculous heights, tweaking its design further to become what we believe may be the new coolest way to play Super Monkey Ball.

On Twitter yesterday, Tilley shared the new controller design for the first time. This swaps out the soccer/football in the original invention for a plastic ball containing a 3D-printed model of the series's mascot AiAi, but still appears to use a mouse to register the player's movement as inputs.

In a roughly one-minute video, Tilley gave his followers a brief look at the building process, as well as the controller in action, fittingly underpinning this demonstration with the 1994 track "Bananaphone" from the children's musician Raffi.

The reason Tilley gave for starting the project:

"Everybody's adding AI to things these days so I thought I'd add AiAi to my DIY soccer/football controller"

In a follow-up tweet, Tilley announced plans to further develop the controller, stating that he may add a trailing wheel to the inside of the ball to make it seem like AiAi is running as he rolls. All in all, it's another fun DIY-style invention from the Australian inventor, which calls to mind the controls for the arcade game Super Monkey Ball Ticket Blitz (which used a trackball built into the cabinet).

In addition to wacky controllers, Tilley is also the person behind the world's largest Game & Watch β€” a project that he made for the Maker Faire Adelaide in 2017 that eventually appeared in the Guinness Book of Records in 2019.