Motion sensing fog machine

Our favorite holiday is just around the corner, so there’s no surprise in seeing a few builds to scare children turning up in the tip jar. [Greg] also loves Halloween and apparently puts on a good show – he always uses a fog machine on his porch on All Hallow’s Eve, but triggering it at the right time is always a pain.

This year, [Greg] decided to build a motion-sensing fog machine. His machine featured a wired remote with a light to signal when the fog machine is ready and a button to start the pump. This remote runs at 120V AC, but [Greg] figured he could stick a small USB phone charger in the remote and power an ATtiny85 microcontroller.

The actual circuit is just a piece of perfboard, a large, old relay from Sparkfun, and a PIR sensor [Greg] picked up last year. Whenever the PIR detects movement, the Tiny85 activates the fog machine for 5 seconds and disarms itself for another 10, until it sees movement again. Just the thing for a little interactive ambiance for [Greg]‘s Halloween display.

Video after the break.

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Typing with a MIDI drum set

[Autuin] picked up the drums at the age of 18, but by his own admission he’s no [Bonzo], [Buddy Rich] or [Ringo]. Practicing always seems to fall off the end of his to-do list, and there really is only one way to Carnegie Hall. One thing [Autuin] is really fast at is typing, so he figured he could improve his drumming skills by banging a few paragraphs out.

The core of the build is a Yamaha DTX drum module, a MIDI-to-USB adapter, and little light coding. Basically, [Autuin] made a chorded keyboard out of his drums; by hitting one (or two, or three) drum heads at the same time, he can type characters in Open Office.

For going outside the comfort zone of a steady rock beat, we’re thinking [Autuin]‘s build might just be useful. He’ll be displaying his Keyboard/Drum mashup at Vancouver’s East Side Culture Crawl alongside a horrible device of artistic merit. If you promise not to break anything, drop in on him in a few weeks.

Vidia after the break.

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Electronic demon costume is surprisingly unnerving

[Phil] over at Adafruit crashed last Sunday’s Show and Tell with an amazing demon costume that includes a voice changer and animated LED matrices for The Eyes and mouth. He just posted how he built this costume, but you’ve really got to Watch the video to see how awesome this build is.

Every demon needs a scary voice, so [Phil] repurposed his Arduino-based voice changer for this build. By being able to adjust the pitch of the demon’s voice with the turn of a knob, [Phil] goes from growling from the pits of hell to a demon with just a slightly annoying voice.

The Eyes make use of the Adafruit I2C LED matrix backpack. The eyes are wired to the same I2C address to prevent derping, but the three red mouth LED matrices are capable of displaying anything that fits on an 8×24 LED matrix.

The electronic portion of this build is mounted to a piece of plexiglas, which is in turn mounted to a mask [Phil] picked up from a craft store. Not really the best option considering the Halloween stores are now open for the year, but it does its job.

A Morphsuit – a spandex bodysuit – completes the build along with a few demon wings and horns. During Adafruit’s Show and Tell, [Phil] had electronic parts scattered all over his desk. To turn this into a costume, he’ll be mounting a small battery-powered speaker in a chest piece and stuffing all the electronics in a fanny pack.

It’s a very, very cool build that really steps up the game for Arduino-powered costumes. Check out the video after the break.

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Automatic Airsoft Turret

airsoft-turret

[Valentin] wrote in to tell us about his automatic Airsoft turret. What it lacks in accuracy, it more than makes up for with sheer volume of fire. The pellet container is able to hold 500 6mm bbs, so make sure to get out of the way after this device is armed.

The device itself is a great example of physical hacking, harvesting parts from a motion sensor as well as a G35 gearbox from Airsoft gun. For physical rotation, it uses a reversing platform reminiscent of the way a useless machine works (see this [HAD] article for more useless machine info). Even if you’re not interested in building a turret, this machine employs some very interesting concepts, so it’s worth checking out.

When live action Team Fortress becomes a fad, maybe these will make an appearance. Until then, check out the video of this turret after the break, or check out the original article for more pictures and video! [Read more...]

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