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Created March 11, 2021 21:15
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Can You Hack Into ATtiny Brain? 🧠

Centuries ago, she was Queen of the Pirates.
Now, you are holding her skull in your hands.
A tiny piece of her mind remains within,
barely alive, and it holds a dark secret.

Awakened by a gentle touch, her eyes will glimmer,
and cease shortly after. They say the eyes are
windows to the soul, and this lost soul is waiting
for you to uncover her secret and set her free.

Will you take up her quest?

It's for those who love riddles! ✨

This is a Capture The Flag (CTF) Riddle, with multiple stages. It can keep you busy for days (or hours, if you are so quick), exercise the cogs in your brain, and give you an excellent excuse to learn about the internals of the AVR Architecture.

Solving the riddle does require the ability to read and understand Arduino code. Be prepared to dive into the ATtiny45 datasheet. Some programming skills are probably useful too!

TODO - Explain that no electrical connection or special hardware is required to solve the riddle.

Decorative Skull, Can be spooky at times. πŸ’€

Apart from a riddle, it also doubles as a decorative skull gadget that flashes its eyes when you touch a small grill at the back of its head.

TODO - Maybe something about halloween?

Batteries Included! πŸ”‹

Actually, just one CR2032 battery. But it has enough juice to keep the skull running for at least one year. As a matter of fact, with sleep current as low as 0.33uA, the battery should last, in theory, for more than 50 years. Yes, ATtiny is that efficient!

Features & Specifications βœ”

  • MCU: ATtiny45
  • Power: CR2032 Battery
  • Inputs: A resistive touch button at the back,
  • Outputs: 2 red glowing eyes (5mm LEDs)
  • Optional debugging connector, for reprogramming The Skull (does not come soldered, not required - for solving the challenge)
  • Dimensions: 100x75mm
  • Weight: 22g (without battery), 26g (with battery)
  • Packaging: resealable ESD bag

Comparisons βš–

Nothing compares to it. Really.

Support & Documentation πŸ“œ

Manufacturing Plan πŸ”¨

We hand-soldered several prototype units and ran exhaustive testing on them, and they did not disappoint! Fortunately, for the production batches, we work with PCBWay to do the assembly and soldering, and they do it much better than we do (also faster!). We used their services several times in the past (e.g. the previous CTF riddle), and we were always pleased with the results.

Fulfillment & Logistics 🚚

Once all the units are manufactured and pass our testing procedure, your Skulls will be sent from Shenzhen, China to Crowd Supply's facility in the US for final delivery to bakers.

Risks & Challenges ☒

The concepts behind the riddle have been tested rigorously on the prototype units, by several people, and most of the code has been written and tested. There'll probably be a few cosmetic changes to the code before the public release, but other than that, it's pretty much ready for the prime time!

As always with hardware, there is risk of shipping delays, and supply-chain shortages. We use pretty common components and parts (though we're a bit picky about getting the best LEDs we can find), and a standard manufacturing process, so the risk here is very low.

And of course, there'll be the challenge of solving The Skull's riddle. But that's up to you ;-)

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