Halloween Hacks: Larger than life costume made from an inflatable lawn ornament

inflatable_stay_puft_costume

[Brian] was trying to decide on a Halloween costume this year, and while looking through his lawn decorations, inspiration struck. In his collection he had a 9 foot tall inflatable Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, and being a guy who likes to go big or go home, he knew he had to find a way to wear it.

The first task he had to tackle was ensuring that he could keep the display inflated while on the go. He was dismayed to see that the fan’s power supply was rated for 12v AC, but when he hooked it up to a DC power supply it worked just fine. While he had his speculations, he wasn’t 100% sure why it worked but he went with it anyway, connecting it up to a battery that would keep the costume inflated throughout the duration of a party.

With that out of the way, he focused more on the mobility of the costume, adding a clear window to allow him to see, along with tweaking a few other small items.

The costume looks great, and we’re sure that [Brian] is yet again the hit of the party.

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.

Halloween Hacks: A light and music show fit for [Jack Skellington]

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[Greg] was looking for something to build using his recently acquired Arduino, and with Halloween approaching, he thought a cool light display would make a great project. He browsed around online and found this tutorial that shows how to build a chorus of singing pumpkins controlled by a computer’s parallel port. Since he didn’t have any computers with a parallel port kicking around anymore, he decided to try his hand at recreating it with an Arduino.

[Greg] gathered eight light up Jack-o-Lanterns, along with a handful of relays and other miscellaneous components. He wired up the relays to trigger each individual pumpkin’s built in light when switched by the Arduino. He sat down and carefully listened through “This is Halloween” from The Nightmare Before Christmas, choreographing each of the pumpkins to take on the voice of one of the movie’s characters.

When the show begins, the display transforms from a group of unassuming pumpkins with candles a-flicker to a chorus of ghouls extolling the virtues of Halloween.

It really is fun to watch, so be sure to check out the video below. If you’re looking to throw together a quick display before the big day rolls around, [Greg’s] source code and diagrams should get you headed in the right direction.

[Read more...]

You probably do not have time to build this incredible Dead Space costume.

What happens when an unemployed sailor has a ton of time on his hands? Well, evidently they become an extremely skilled prop builder. Then again our only reference point is [Throssoli]‘s excellent Dead Space suit build.

[Throssoli] started this ambitious project by setting a months deadline for the helmet. Although he did not meet the dead line the results were fantastic and very true to the game models.  Noting the reaction people had to the helmet out in the wild, and giving in to the fact that he really wanted the full engineering suit as seen in game, [Throssoli] set off to reproduce the entire RIG down to the illuminated face mask and back mounted spine-like health and stasis indicators.  All it really needs are lead weights in the boots to give it that signature stompy Isaac feel. The build incorporates a lot of techniques we typically see in other game related prop builds, such as the black-washing and weathering effects seen in the wheatley puppet and mold making as seen in this Portal Turret build and even daft punk helmets. Keep in mind [Throssoli] is no stranger to prop or suit building, his portfolio of finished projects include halo armor and props, various Star Wars costumes, Mass Effect stuff, a Predator outfit you name it. We could easily loose half a day just perusing all the builds at the site so check it out for yourself!

[via Reddit]

Halloween Hacks: Simple robotic skull is a perfect last minute decoration

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If you haven’t taken the time to put your decorations together it’s time to get a move on. With Halloween just around the corner big elaborate displays are pretty much out of the question, but [Boris] and the team over at Open Electronics have a simple project that’s sure to be a hit with the Trick or Treaters.

Using a cheap plastic prop that you can likely find at any Halloween store, they have put together a simple talking skull that moves along with whatever music or sound is being piped through it. The skull’s mouth is moved by a single servo mounted inside the brain cavity, which is controlled by an Arduino. The Arduino monitors the sound level of the source audio being played, actuating the servo accordingly.

It’s quick, simple, and effective – perfect for a last minute decorating project. If you are a little more ambitious, you could always put together a whole chorus of skulls without too much additional effort – just a few extra skulls and some servos would do the trick nicely.

Check out a quick video of the skull in action below, along with another short clip showing how the servo is rigged up to move its mouth.

[Read more...]

Halloween Hacks: Terrifying mask follows you everywhere

It’s less than 5 days away from Halloween and the projects to scare small children are pouring in. [Noel] sent in his robotic Halloween mask he’s been working on, and the only way his build could be any better is by placing it underneath a child’s bed.

[Noel] took the mask he used last year and stuffed a few styrofoam craft balls inside to ‘fill it up.’ Two LEDs and a PIR sensor were fitted into the eyes of the mask and a few more electronics added to the brain. A servo was fitted to the base of the project to turn the head left and right.

The build uses a Gizduino Arduino clone with an Adafruit Wave shield. After a little bit of wiring up the LEDs, PIR sensor and neck servo, [Noel] had a bit of coding ahead of him. He ran into a problem with the WaveHC and Servo libraries because they both used the same timer. After finding a another software-based servo libraries, he had a reasonably terrifying project to put in front of a bowl of candy.

Check out the video below for a demo of [Noel]‘s work.

[Read more...]

Halloween Hacks: Flickering Jack-o’-lantern

The dollar store is always a great place to find some weird stuff, so when [jethomson] found a flickering Jack-o’-lantern, he thought it would make a great project for the 74xx logic competition.

Instead of using the flickering incandescent lightbulb that came with the blinking pumpkin, [jethomson] decided to rebuild a blinking circuit around a 74HC14 Hex inverting Schmitt trigger IC. The chip was used as a relaxation oscillator by adding a resistor and cap from the input to the ground. After a bit of component selection and some calculation, he had a red and blue LED blinking at 2,6,9, and 15 Hz.

The result is a seemingly random pattern of light that looks like a ghostly blue after image of the handheld Jack-o’-lantern. While it may not be one of the most complex builds for the 74xx competition, it gets points in our book for originality.

Although [jethomson] says his camera doesn’t pick up his project very well, he did post a video of the Jack-o’-Lantern in action. Check it out after the break.

[Read more...]

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