Electronic Burgle Bros. – Part 1

At PAX South 2017, I first learned of Burgle Bros. by Tim Fowers. Burgle Bros. is a cooperative heist board game for up to 4 players. Tim sometimes says it’s like Ocean’s 11 or Mission Impossible, the board game.

You play a ragtag group of burglars breaking into an office building to crack some safes – evade the guards and watch for alarms! I know I’m not alone in loving it. Shut Up and Sit Down did a great review last year.

Image from Shut Up and Sit Down review.

As you might be able to make out in the image above, the game tiles (each representing a room) are divided into 3 “floors” of 16 rooms.


While the players are exploring the floors to crack the safe, they must evade the guard patrolling each floor. The guards move each turn toward their destination, which is determined by drawing a card from the Patrol Deck showing which tile in the 4×4 grid to move toward.

Here’s one limitation of the base game – the tile layout must be in a 4×4 grid because the guard Patrol Deck can only give destinations in that layout.


Again from Shut Up and Sit Down, note the small red alarm token mid-image

The second key piece of the game is the alarms that are in various rooms on the board. The player characters must avoid lasers, metal detectors, and more or else they set off an alarm. When an alarm goes off, the floor’s guard moves toward that room at an increased speed.

In some demos of the game, I’ve seen alarms represented by small LED party lights. The tiny blinking red light is gimmicky, but it’s a blinking light! I think alarms should involve bright lights not little round game tokens.

So I built a thing…


Remember Juicero, the $600 machine that squeezes a bag of juice pulp as long as that bag is confirmed via wifi, so you have fresh squeezed juice? Silicon Valley at its best.

I figured I could do just as well, and designed Juiceppi – an internet controlled Capri Sun Squeezer – in a weekend in 2017. It’s got the last three servo’s from my town’s Radio Shack (cleared out the going out of business sale), and is controlled by an Adafruit Feather HUZZAH.

Of course, this thing is WAY over-engineered. Three status LEDS show internet connectivity and whether a Capri Sun is inserted. Internal IR LED and sensors tell it if a pouch is properly between the squeezing mechanism. Then it’s all controlled using Adafruit’s IOT service.

It’s stupid, it’s ridiculous, but it’s no worse than Juicero, which raised a lot of millions of dollars…

You can see all the models here on TinkerCAD.