Halloween props: Techy Jack-o-lanterns

Halloween is this weekend. If you still have some time and parts available, you might be looking to spice up your Jack-o-lantern.  We’ve found a few projects that we thought might be nice to share. None of them would merit a post on their own, so we thought we would just round them up and share them all at once. They all appear to be powered by the Arduino, which we know will bring some comments. Just to clear up some questions, they don’t pay us to advertise Arduinos. People just do a lot of projects with them.

First, the silly string shooting Jack-o-lantern which you can see above. He’s using a single servo hooked to an Arduino and a motion sensor.  When it detects motion, it lets out a short squirt of silly string. You can download the code from the project page. We might suggest you arrange this in a manner to avoid spraying directly into some kids eyes.

Check out the next two after the break.

Second, we have the flickering LED Jack-o-lantern that changes based on your movement. Again, powered by an Arduino and a proximity sensor, it doesn’t get much simpler.

Lastly, we bring you the music synchronized LED pumpkin.  This one has a nice carving of a drum set on the front, lit from behind in rhythm with the music.  Again, this is controlled by an Arduino. The setup is fairly simple and you can download the source code from the project page.

Comments

  1. monkeyslayer56 says:

    cool

  2. Ian says:

    I made a remote control color changing pumpkin with ‘angry’ mode for the various Halloween contests:

    http://dangerousprototypes.com/2009/10/29/remote-control-color-changing-pumpkin/

  3. cyberpunk64bit says:

    i will say it once, i will say it again! if it has more than 2 wires, it will get hacked.. these are still way cool!

  4. PocketBrain says:

    Still not sure why an arduino would be required for this; motion sensor triggers a brief pulse on the silly string actuator. Timing could easily be DONE by a 555.

  5. trialex says:

    @PocketBrain

    Yes it could be controlled by a 555.

    BUT

    I know I could write out the ~20 lines the arduino code would be faster than I could calculated the R1, R2, C1 values needed for the correct servo pulse length.

  6. @trialex says:

    And so bloatware is born… :oP

  7. Jay says:

    Just don’t put a candle in that pumpkin! Silly string is (or used to be) quite flammable and parents of the neighborhood kids will frown upon a flame-thrower pumpkin torching the kiddies.

  8. shadow says:

    @trialex

    well yeah, that because standards are slipping, my tutors beat the calculation into my head, so i cld calculate it faster, plus 555 is probably cheaper. Now who will be first to comment they could do it in clockwork? that i would be intrested in!

  9. PocketBrain says:

    @trialex:
    Use a spreadsheet! ;-)

  10. George Stone says:

    This COULD have been done by purely mechanical means. Doesn’t mean it should be.

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