We've seen Raspberry Pi single-board computers for all sorts of contraptions, but this latest usage case is equal parts humorous and timely given our current situation with the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic. Developers from the Finnish firm Surrogate have created a claw machine game that you can play from the comfort of quarantine in your home.
Now to be certain, this is a fully-fledged claw machine, like one you might find at an arcade or carnival event. But it is controlled via a Raspberry Pi and is internet-connected so that anyone can get in queue to take their chances at scoring a prize. However, in this case, you're not vying for the chance to score a stuffed animal or a Buzz Lightyear toy -- instead, you prize is a single roll of toilet paper.
You'll have to head over to Surrogate's website, and login to play. When it’s your turn to play, you'll be shown a live view of the inside of the claw machine that is loaded up with toilet paper. You use the "W A S D" keys on your keyboard to move the "limp grip" claw around, and then hit the Spacebar to drop it and hopefully secure your solitary roll of toilet paper. You have roughly 30 seconds to grab your roll and get the heck out of Dodge.
As of this writing, 405 rolls have been won out of 1,000 that are available. So far, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place players in this Toilet Paper Claw game have won 15, 13, and 10 rolls respectively. And remarkably, Surrogate will be shipping the rolls to the winner free of charge.
When asked on reddit why they would be doing such a "cute/funny" prank with what is a "scare" resource for many people right now, Surrogate responded:
We actually only have enough toilet paper rolls to fill the claw machine. We will be ordering online to ship the toilet paper to all the winners. It won't be 1 person getting 1000 rolls, but probably 1-3 toilet paper rolls per person max (you get 1 roll every time you win). So we're not wasting the paper. :)
As far as we're concerned, we all need a little break from reality at times considering the stress that many folks are going through in these times. And with a Raspberry Pi-powered game like this, you can brush all your cares away... if only for just 30 seconds at a time.