Gesture Controlled Sword of Omens Gives Sight Beyond Sight

The 80’s were a golden age of Sci-Fi cartoons. We had Transformers, Voltron, and of course, Thundercats. The story of feline humanoids on third earth has stuck with a few hackers, including [Juan Garcia]. Juan has tunneled his fandom into something amazing – he’s built his own version of Lion-O’s iconic Sword of omens. The modeling and 3D print work are top-notch. While this sword doesn’t have the Eye of Thundera¬†as a power source, it does have some pretty clever electronics. It’s also one of the amazing entries in this year’s Sci-Fi Contest.

[Juan] wanted to create the “sight beyond sight” effect from the TV show. He started with an MPU6050 six axis gyro + accelerometer. These chips are most often found at the heart of quadcopter controllers. An Arduino Pro Mini reads the sensor data. When the sword is lifted vertically, it turns on a row of WS2812 LEDs. The LEDs replicate the pulsing eye effect from the cartoon version of the sword.

[Juan] really made this a neat build. The whole sword is powered by an 18650 Li-Ion battery. Power control and charging circuitry are all concealed inside the 3D print. When it’s time to charge up the eye, the hilt can be unscrewed to reveal a USB charging port. Click past the break to see this hack in action!

Click past the break to see this hack in action, and don’t forget – there’s still time to enter the Sci-Fi Contest!

8 thoughts on “Gesture Controlled Sword of Omens Gives Sight Beyond Sight

  1. Some minor tweaks (only suggestion for a REV 2.0 build):
    Add a wireless charging holster: Saves having to unscrew something, thus giving it a more “solid” build feel and the holster keeps the blade cleaner for longer.
    Also gluing both halves together so not to use screws to give it that solid piece look. Maybe resin+bulking-agent filled shells (presuming the blade isn’t already so), this would make the prop heavier.

    Still, quite a good prop either way.

    1. An induction charging holster sounds neat. Might try that if I ever make a light up cosplay pistol, but I’m afraid this 3d printed prop might be too fragile to carry around (and possibly drop). I certainly like the idea of a more durable resin prop, but I’m used to doing that kind of work on a ratty old table in a garage or back yard. Now I’m in a balcony-free apartment so I no longer have a designated space to make big messes.

      As for the screws, I like that it’s easily disassembled in case the electronics fail or I want to upgrade it. I was thinking about making an insert that covers the screw faces though, since I don’t like them exposed either.

      Thanks for the input.

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