Robotic tentacles for a disturbing haunted house

testicles

[ivorjawa] is putting on a haunted house this Halloween that we really don’t want to go to. His robot tentacle is already supremely creepy, and we’re assuming it will only be more frightening once it’s covered in fabric and foam rubber.

Each tentacle can move on two axes thanks to four steel cables running through this strange Geiger-esque contraption. In the base of the tentacle are two stepper-motor driven cylinders that take up slack on one cable and draw out another cable. Two of these control boxes, driven by a stepper motor and an Arduino motor shield, allow the tentacle to reach out and grab in any direction. You can check out the mechanics of the build on [ivorjava]‘s flickr

On a semi-related note, even though we’re more than a month out from Halloween, we should have more Halloween builds in our tip line by now. If you’re working on one, don’t be afraid to send it in, even if you’re just showing off a work in progress.

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Roomba and virtual walls make up this theme family Halloween costume

It figures. You spend a ton of time making a cool set of costumes and then you can’t get your kid to pose for a picture. It’s okay though, we still get the point. This themed set of costumes dresses the little one as a Roomba vacuuming robot while mom and dad are suited up as virtual walls (modules that are used to keep the bot from falling down stairs, etc.). It’s fun and unique, but had it not been for some additional electronics this would have been relegated to a links post. For safety sake each costume was outfitted with a ring of LEDs. As a challenge, the lights were given the ability to sync up patterns with each other.

Each costume has a circular frame at the top with a set of RGB LED strings attached. To get them to display synchronized patterns an IR transmitter/receiver board was designed and ordered from OSHPark. Each costume has four of these modules so no matter where the wearers are facing it should not break communications. A demo of the synchronized light rings can be seen after the break

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Computers Not Candy with The Geek Group

This year for Halloween, The Geek Group, decided to take a very different approach to outreach. Instead of making animatronics, or converting their giant (seriously HUGE) space into a haunted house, they held an event called “Computers Not Candy” where they teamed up with a large local company to bring 100 tablet computers to 100 youths.

If you’re not already familiar with the Geek Group, you should check them out. They’re a huge hackerspace that really seems to have their act together. They put out really cool videos regularly, our favorite being the equipment autopsies.

While we really do admire the work they did to introduce these kids to hackerspaces, we also love candy and silly spooky projects. Next year how about Computers AND Candy!

Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robot costumes make party conversation awkward

Don’t get us wrong, we love these Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robot costumes. But as with that Samus Helmet it must make party conversation a bit weird. And how do you hold on to your beer? But you’ve got to commend [EyeHeartInk] and his friend for their commitment. Not only did they wear them to the party, but they spent two months building the things.

Pretty much everything was made from cardboard. All of it was hand cut with a box cutter and a hobby knife. Duct tape and glue were the adhesives of choice, and according to this thread a total of fifteen rolls of tape were used. The half spheres on the side of either helmet were molded from expanding spray foam inside a ping-pong ball which had been lopped in half. And of course there are a pair of LEDs for the eyes of each bot.

We usually try to link to other articles that are related, but it doesn’t look like we’ve seen this concept before So you’ll have to settle for this non-Halloween wristwatch controlled robot boxing game.

 

Can you believe this Portal gun was built from scratch?

This Portal gun will really make [aNoodleJMC's] costume pop this year. He actually built the video game weapon replica from scratch. It even includes some electronics to light it up blue or orange depending on which portal he’s planning to fire at an available flat surface.

There’s a lot of parts that went into the project, but by far our favorite one on the list is an acrylic toilet plunger. Its handle serves as a light pipe for the colored LEDs and can be seen above as a cloudy rod at the center of the clear barrel. A 4″ and 3″ PVC pipe helped to form the rest of the barrel, along with a 3″ clear acrylic pipe for the transparent areas. The bulbous parts of the body were sculpted from florist’s foam. Once he had all of the parts roughed out it’s obvious that [aNoodleJMC] spent a ton of time filling problem areas with Bondo, sanding everything smooth, and giving it a paint job he can be proud of. We hope he didn’t forget to include GLaDOS in the fun.

We actually just bought our Portal gun. But that’s because we had the big plans of adding the ability to levitate objects.

[vai Reddit]

Fembot costume includes smoking nipples

The greatest of Halloween costumes start with an idea, but they’ve also got to have strong execution to pull the whole thing off. This year  [Johanna Jenkins] decided to put together a Fembot Halloween costume which is a wonderful example of this concept. Going as a Fembot from Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery sounds like a lot of fun right off the bat, but a bit of work at the sewing machine and access to a wig shop in Hollywood really brought it to the next level. But [Johanna] didn’t stop at that. The Fembots have machine guns in their bras. After they’ve torn through all of their ammo they’re left with smoking barrels as nipples, and that final touch even made it into the costume. In the video after the break you can see [Johanna] showing off the small battery operated fog system she piped into the costume bra.

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A Scary Pumpkin Pi

headless-scarecrow

What do you get when you combine motion sensors , a Raspberry Pi, and a pumpkin? When it’s Haloween, a headless scarecrow with a light-up carved pumpkin in its lap! The execution of this hack is really great, and the resulting effect, as shown in the video after the break, should be extremely scary to any kids that come knocking.

One neat effect of this hack is that it uses X10 home automation modules to turn off the porch lights for an extra scary effect. After this, the jack-o-lantern lights up and says “help me!” If you’d like to duplicate, or build on this hack, instructions are provided as well as source code for everything on the page. While you’re there, be sure to poke around on [Insentricity] as there are quite a few other hacks available for your perusal! Don’t forget sure to send us any other Halloween hacks that you come up with.

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