Halloween Hacks: Arc reactor costume

Halloween is the time of year where you can dress up as a pirate, muppet, or superhero and no one will bat an eye. During this holiday of expanded social permissiveness, [Nbitwonder] decided that building an Arc Reactor from Iron Man would be appreciated by his engineering cohort.

The ‘body’ of the reactor was manufactured on the RepRap Mendel we covered from beginning to end. A few minutes with Google Sketchup was all that was needed to generate the files and send them to the printer. In a few short hours, [Nbitwonder] had the body of his Arc Reactor.

The board design was thrown together in Eagle and etched. 11 blue SMD LEDs were thrown into the mix along with some borrowed resistors. Pieces of a hard drive spindle and a little bit of wire rounded out the parts list, and everything was assembled with the DIYers favorite tool, the hot glue gun. Not a bad job for a few hours of work.

The files for the Arc Reactor are up on Thingiverse along with a Flickr photoset.

ATtiny hacks: Robot Halloween costume

When it comes to Halloween costumes, [Michael] doesn’t like buying expensive and poorly made bits of cloth and fabric that resembles [random Disney character]. Last year, his son decided to be a robot for Halloween and although gray spray paint and dryer vent hose make a very good costume, that only goes so far. The robot needed lights, so [Michael] spent a little time on this build that blinks a few LEDs in a random pattern.

The build is very simple; an ATtiny13 drives two 74HC595 shift registers. The code – all 30-odd lines of it – uses the random() function to shift high or low values to the shift registers. After pausing for a little bit, the cycle continues and a new patterns of LEDs light up.

The electronics of the robot costume could be easily transferred to another theme – astronauts need LEDs on their backpack, and of course aliens communicate with blinking lights. In any event, it would avoid last year’s fiasco with a dozen [Heath Ledger] Jokers. Check out the video of [Michael]‘s intergalactic robot son after the break.

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Making and selling Star Wars costumes ruled to be legal

 

[Andrew Ainsworth] has been making and selling costumes based on Star Wars character (some original, and some of his own creation) for several years. Lucasfilm sued him for $20 million back in 2004 claiming infringement of intellectual property rights. He stopped selling them in the US (as it was a US copyright) but now the UK Supreme Court has ruled in his favor, siding with his claim that the costumes are functional items and not works of art.

Good for him, but copyright issues aren’t what interests us here. The BBC clip showing him using a vacuum former to make the Stormtrooper helmet really caught our attention. A bit of further searching led us to find the thirteen minute video after the break showing the entire process, from sculpting the mold by hand, to forming the components, and the final assembly seen above. It’s a fascinating process that makes use want to build our own vacuum former (preferably on a larger scale than this one). It would come in handy whether it’s Star Wars, Daft Punk, or any number of other projects you’ve got in mind.

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LED Matrix Helmits Inspiried by You-Know-Who

Here is a post from [John's Projects]. For the insane, satirical, and incredible 2011 Omaha Groundhog Prom [John] and his buddy fabricated  helmets reminiscent of our favorite robot rockers.  [John] needed something harder, better, faster, stronger than the competition and wound up creating LED matrices that mount behind aerodynamic motorcycle helmet visors.

The helmets were constructed in about a weeks time and in a similar fashion to the real helmets. [John] sourced some cheap motorcycle headgear and mounted the LEDs, their driving transistors, and ballast resistors to a 1/32″ (flexible) plexiglass sheet that sits face to face with the wearer. [John] walks through the whole process starting with a half inch grid drawn onto a paper template. The template is cut from the plexi using tin snips, then LED holes are carefully drilled in the thin plastic using various bits up to 13/64″. The 90 some odd LEDs are, one more time, fitted then hot glued in place and soldered in vertical columns to simplify things and prevent any short circuit. An Arduino Pro (via common emitter 2n2222 on/off circuits) provides some digital love to the 18 LED columns and is connected to a Velleman Sound-to-light kit which modulates the brightness of the whole visor based on da funk. Two pots are also wired to provide sensitivity and pattern selection to the human after all.

We can’t imagine the technologic setup is fresh after being subjected to the steam machine, high life, and whatever else for too long. Oh yeah, Some brighter LEDs could give the helmets night vision and make the whole thing come alive with emotion. Something about us is burnin to know what powers the helmets. Nice work [John]!

If you are looking to do some homework on these high fidelity rock’n roll outfits in the prime time of your life check out this very detailed example, a helmet construction video,  or finish the costume off with some EL wire.

Check out some videos of these superheros rollin’ & scratchin’ after the jump!

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Halloween Props: Borg costume

The Halloween hacks are rolling in late this year, but we’re delighted to see that [DJ Sures] finished his borg costume in time. It is made up of a hodge-podge of items from different cultures… oh wait, so are the borg. These include a set of hockey pads spray painted black with just a light misting of silver to give them some depth. After taking the image above (which mostly shows off his makeup) [DJ Sures] added an LCD screen to the chest plate and lighted electronics throughout. See for yourself after the break.

If you liked this you might take a look at his singing spark plug.

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Live action fighting games

Here’s a strange one. This fighting game uses a video game interface to instruct modern-age gladiators on how to bring the pain. The costumed fighters cannot see anything other than a set of lights in their helmets instructing them to move or punch. A camera films them and overlays the footage on a digital background along with simulated blood and a health bar for each. NES controllers are used to instruct them, and switches inside the costumes register the pummeling they receive and deduct health accordingly. This wouldn’t be any good without a demonstration, which we’ve embedded after the break.

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Daft Punk Helmet replica finally completed

[Harrison Krix] finished his Daft Punk Helmet replica and posted about it this week. We took a look at his work back in October but he’s come a long way to pull off a legendary build. Take three minutes after the break and see 17 months worth of work. So many skills were pulled together to make this happen; sculpting, mold making, painting, electronic design, mechanical design, and bad-ass-ery. Crammed in along with your noggin are a bag-full of LED boards but the Arduino that controls it all resides outside, in a project box tethered to the helmet. This is a masterpiece of socially-unwearable geek fashion.

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