LED Throwies Turn Statues Into Heart Attack Risks


[Mike] has just put a new spin on LED throwies — turning innocent statues into scary possessed demons of the night. He calls them Statueyes, and while it’s not quite vandalism, you might still cause a public disturbance.

If you’re not familiar, magnetic LEDs throwies are a fun little way to add some light to the city at night. They’re a little bit wasteful (sometimes you can’t retrieve them), but so cheap to make it’s sometimes worth it. Depending on what you’re using them for they can open up a whole world of possibilities — like this location tracking augmented reality using IR LED throwies!

Anyway, the main difference with [Mike’s] take on the project is he’s using home-made play-dough which allows him to stick these creepy eyes on non-metallic statues. The Play-Doh in question has an interesting ingredients list: flour, water, salt, vegetable oil and… cream of tartar? It’s the classic edible Play-Doh recipe, but to the unfamiliar it certainly sounds odd.

How cheap do you think we could make these with a simple dimming circuit? Imagine seeing a statues eyes light up as you’re walking by…

42 thoughts on “LED Throwies Turn Statues Into Heart Attack Risks

    1. I would call this just a pure vandalism. Nobody has a right to use any kind of adhesives on the cultural monuments. The same people who do this kind of stuff likely use spray cans to paint their tags and other shit to buildings.

    2. Button batteries contain mercuric oxide, lithium, silver oxide or zinc-air. They are considered hazardous material and must be brought to a household hazardous waste collection site for proper handling.

      1. Yeah… but I don’t see why these batteries can’t be used before being sent to a hazardous waste collection site… I’m pretty sure people still use watches with button batteries inside instead of sending them to disposal…
        And since play-dough is water soluble, besides being a really weak adhesive, all one has to do is pick it up once it fall of the statue and reuse the LED and dispose the button battery if it is depleted…

      2. The button batteries you can get from the drugstore are unlikely to contain mercury these days (mostly zinc-air or else). Not sure how many of the batteries that come with stuff like brushbot kits have mercury, though.

  1. As said above: Not a Hack and not a Throwie. Not to mention that this is simply vandalism and mike wants others to commit this crime as well and show it to him if u read his last instructable page. Statues are public property not your private playground for new ideas.

    This “invention” should be used during halloween to make garden gnomes look possessed.

      1. Why is your desire to put throwies and yarn all over a statue more worthy than my desire to see the statue in its unmolested state? What makes your hipster need to put a sweater on a tree more worthy than my need to see a tree in it’s natural state?

        If it’s your own personal property, do as you like with it. If it’s someone else’s property or public property, keep your hands to yourself. That’s not such a hard rule to live by, is it?

        1. Why are you on a website, solely devoted to taking objects of every day, and completely change it? Why don’t you and everyone else like you either enjoy the little article and cool small little change to these statue to make it something different that we have yet to see, or just get off this website as it is not mean for closed minded individuals like yourself. As far as you know he took them off after he took the picture.

        2. @Will: Disregarding your abrasive attitude and straw man argument (hipsters!), the point being made that this hardly constitutes vandalism in the sense that somebody is doing something destructive and ruining something. Nothing is ruined or destroyed as the modification is completely and easily reversible, so where exactly is the harm?

          The question as to how public property is enjoyed is a matter of societal norm; if your attitude is in the majority (which I doubt), we wouldn’t see trees and statues with sweaters much, because the public would do something about it rather than having a laugh and getting on with their day. A quick google search returns municipalities *promoting* a yarn-bomb culture, and relatively few actively against it.

  2. Just hope it isn’t mistaken as a bomb. These days you have those TLA and law enforcement allergic and over reacting to anything that could have seen as a terrorist threat.

    LED: [ √ ]
    Unknown Circuits: [ √ ]
    C4 like substance (Play-doh) : [ √ ]
    Something that shouldn’t be there: [ √ ]

  3. They’ve died the playdough with “drawing ink” … i’d be concerned that this could stain the statue. I wonder if some other dark additive could be used that would be less problematic?

    1. Not 100% sure, but I guess small amounts of food dye (the water soluble ones) wouldn’t stain the statue, since people put these in home-made soap and don’t stain whatever you wash with it, and it also don’t stain your mouth if someone put some dye in a cake or something like that.

  4. > they’re a little bit wasteful

    Are you British? That one’s bound to be the understatement of the year.

    > but so cheap to make it’s sometimes worth it

    So, you’re saying, being CHEAP is reason enough to do something? That would be a great excuse for killing your neighbor’s dog (a knife is cheap), wouldn’t it? Or doing things that I would find even worse. As long as they’re cheap, you’re OK with it?

    I love hackaday. But articles like this make me consider banning this site from my bookmark list. Seriously.

    1. Cheap as in if you can get bulk pricing. He’s saying cheap is reason to not care about retrieving something.
      The reason behind sticking LEDs everywhere is his own personal amusement, or a critique of turn of the century celebration of robber-baron imperialism, I can’t be sure.
      Your entire argument is one big non sequitur.
      If you don’t like a website don’t visit it.

      1. If pointing out unnecessary pollution is “non sequitur”, well, I am looking forward to someone disposing some couple of tons of used batteries in your bedroom.
        If saying ones mind is something you don’t like, you might consider changing websites yourself – in the country where I come from, freedom of speech is still possible, to some degree.

  5. Better idea: use IR emitting diodes. The addition would be nearly invisible until a tourist takes a picture of the statue, then the eyes would light up only in the exposure….

  6. Perhaps the trolls here should be more worried about the other 2.9 Billion batteries thrown away a year in the US which apparently ends up being 179,000 tons a year, and perhaps consider that environmentally conscientious vandals could come back and remove all evidence prior to morning to seriously freak people.

    After all, why be just plain evil if you can be subtly evil? It’s so much more fun…

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