A Road to Escape

June 2018 · Andis Cekuls


Really! It is better to stay out. The upcoming escape room at Escape Napoli will be a killer. Quite literally.  

A Road to Escape picture

Although it’s been several months already, I still remember working with my colleague Māris on the escape room for Escape Napoli. For us, the mainly-software guys, hardware is a rather interesting field to go in.

But Raspberry Pi (actually two of them!), which was used together with weight sensors, movement (infrared) sensors, and speakers (surround for one and stereo for the other) proved to be a quite convincing combination for a horror-themed escape room.

For those, who don’t know what an escape room is, it is basically a real-life detective game where you, as the player, are locked in a room full of clues and you have to escape in an hour.

Our task was to create something horror-themed. And what is the best way to scare people?Jump scare!

And when?

Right after you enter the room. 

We created a real-looking framed portrait.. that comes alive as soon as you walk inside. “Comes alive” in a manner of speaking.. actually, it is a portrait of a young lady that gets old and dies when the player walks in.

But that’s not it. Of course.

There’s sound. There’s no good jump scare without a nice piece of music playing along.

In fact, Māris said he got scared from the lady coming alive tens of times while working on it because of the infrared sensor lying nearby.

So.. be prepared when you go to Escape Napoli.

Another thing worth to mention is the use of the weight sensors. The story creators had this idea that a weight could be used to have the players find and place small statues of different weights on them to unlock some doors and advance in the quest.

We made wooden weights that support up to 10 kilograms of statues and increase the volume every time a weight “is unlocked”.


It is quite an Indiana Jones-experience.

If you’re looking to create something similar, we used these load cells and these amps to get it working. An idea is to create a weight that lets people on diet open the fridge only if they lose weight.

We coupled the hardware with a software web-based admin panel that works on the local network. An admin can change the soundtracks, the correct weight variables, reset the escape room, turn on / off the lights and tons of other things.