10 Soccer-Themed DIY Projects to Build for World Cup 2018


There’s nothing quite like the FIFA World Cup to get you into a competitive sporting mood. But what if you’re not quite prepared for the festival of football? Need a score counter, or perhaps an automated drinks maker?

The answer is simple: DIY!

What better way to get into the soccer spirit than by building your own DIY soccer tech projects that aren’t just fun, but practical too? These projects show you how it’s done.

1. Arduino Bluetooth Scoreboard

This giant scoreboard was built by YouTube channel I Like To Make Stuff. Using a timber frame, some LEDs, 3D-printed diffusion, and an Arduino, this project can be completed in a weekend.

If you don’t have the space for such a large scoreboard, it’s simple to reduce the size. The clear instructions and high quality video shows you how to make one of your own. You don’t even have to use Bluetooth if you don’t want to.

If you’re overwhelmed even after watching the video several times, then perhaps some of our tutorials will help you. Our Arduino beginner’s guide is a good place to start, as is our ultimate beginner’s guide to 3D printing.

2. Arduino Goal Counter

This project by Ondrej Krama is a great way to keep track of the score. Slightly simpler than the previous project, this one uses a remote central locking device from a car.

This project also uses an Arduino, alongside a giant seven-segment display, but don’t worry if you don’t own one of those, this project can easily be replicated with different kinds of Arduino displays.

3. Arduino Table Soccer Goal Counter

This cool project by YouTube creators OSZ Täuffelen is an awesome way to digitize a table soccer game. Built once again using an Arduino, this project uses LED sensors to detect when a team has scored a goal.

Sensors aside, this project even uses a USB power bank to run the system for well over 30 hours. The code is provided in German, but the core concepts and ideas behind programming languages don’t really change between human languages. If you’re new to Arduino programming, then these Arduino clean coding tips may come in useful.

4. Raspberry Pi Ball Tracking Robot

Built by YouTube channel Circuit Digest, this neat little robot uses a Raspberry Pi at its heart. Built with several motors, a Raspberry Pi camera, and some code written in Python, this machine could be the beginning of your robot soccer squad!

No video tutorial is provided, but a full written tutorial with code is provided.

If you’re not sure on the differences between a Raspberry Pi and an Arduino, then why not look at our Arduino vs. Raspberry Pi comparison?

5. Arduino Robot Drinks Machine

This drinks machine is a guaranteed way to liven up any sports party. Why risk missing the action when this robot can serve you?

While this machine is designed to serve alcoholic drinks, there’s no reason you couldn’t serve juice or other alcohol-free drinks.

This project does require several 3D-printed parts, and a few specialist components, but don’t let that put you off. Besides, you could even program your own 3D models using OpenSCAD, if you’re feeling adventurous.

6. Automatic Pet Feeder

With this automatic pet feeder, you’ll never have to miss another goal again. Built by the Ntrobotics YouTube channel, this cool project can be completed in an afternoon—providing you have 3D-printed the parts.

This project uses an ESP8266 at its heart, which is quite possibly our favorite maker board here at MakeUseOf. Learn more about the ESP8266 and how it differs from Arduino. If you don’t own a 3D printer, consider using these awesome websites for ordering 3D prints.

7. 3D Food Printer

Sticking with the 3D printing theme, YouTube channel Dr. D-Flo presents an excellent and comprehensive tutorial for building your own food 3D printer.

This machine is perfect for when Brazil are playing Germany and you just can’t stop watching the action. Although it is a little on the slow side…

Dr. D-Flo adapted a less conventional 3D printer design, but you could easily use a more traditional format. Our 3D printer buying guide can help you out.

8. Electronic Ball Kicker

Moving outdoors, this electronic ball kicker was built by the Nudge Me YouTube channel. This slightly scary looking project is a great way to brush up on your goal keeping skills.

A circuit diagram is provided, and this project uses good old fashioned electronics, with no Arduino or Raspberry Pi to be found. You could probably find many of the parts needed by taking apart a microwave. High voltage, anyone?

9. Arduino TV Controller

Fed up with losing the remote? Hate being in a blind panic at the thought of missing the kick off? Then worry no more, as this gadget (built by Keenan Van Deusen) will save the day.

With a video tutorial and full code provided, this is a great project for the absolute beginner. You could even install a real-time clock and schedule your TV to come on automatically when the games start!

10. Color Tracking Robot

This color tracking robot was once again built by the Nudge Me YouTube channel. Using Bluetooth and a mobile phone, this robot tracks the ball based on its color. It races off at surprising speed, and would make the perfect defender for your robot soccer league.

Code and schematics are provided, and the tracking app is published on the app store. What are you waiting for? With this on your side, how could you lose?

If you’re looking for a simpler wheeled robot tutorial, then why not check out our Arduino 4WD robot tutorial?

The Best DIY Soccer Projects for the World Cup

These ten projects have shown just how much creativity and variety there is when it comes to soccer tech projects. There is every chance that you could considerably improve your FIFA World Cup experience with one or more of these builds. Controlling the all-important TV with an Arduino is particularly ingenious.

Meanwhile, if you’re not the DIY type, why not take a look at these Android soccer games instead? No assembly required!

Image Credit: golubovy/Depositphotos

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