Creative Vandalism The KITT Way

It’s probable that most of us have at some time dreamed up a witty and subversive way to deface our city, but that few of us will have followed through on the idea. [Matt Gray] then is something of a modern-day urban hero for doing just that. Who couldn’t walk past Knightrider Court, EC4, in the City of London, without thinking of the 1980s TV series featuring David Hasselhoff and a talking car? [Matt] couldn’t, and so of course he simply had to upgrade the street sign with the signature LED scanner.

At its heart is an Adafruit Gemma ATtiny85 board in a 3D-printed case attached to a length of aluminium extrusion holding a strip of addressable LEDs. When attached to the sign it looks the business, and while the late-night crowd showed it little interest the Londoners passing in the morning were much more enthusiastic. We applaud him for the idea.

As occasional students of medieval history here at Hackaday, of course we couldn’t let this go without asking where the unexpected London street name came from. Sadly for fans of the Hoff it has nothing to do with the small screen, instead it appears to have a much earlier origin having been first recorded in 1322. The knightriders in question are reputed to have been real medieval knights, or at least horsemen. Pay it a visit, should you ever find yourself in the British capital.

Thanks [Renze] for the tip.

14 thoughts on “Creative Vandalism The KITT Way

  1. So, the authorities will probably arrest him on vandalism, public nuisance, and several charges of domestic terrorism?
    Because they have no sense of humor.
    (Not true, a security officer outside 10 Downing Street joked with us a few years ago)

  2. That is good fun, be even more fun if it was PIR/noise activated and perhaps powered by the wi-fi soup, solar or something. So it endures passively as one of those little jokes for years. Be much harder to pull off neatly without actually being a vandal though.

  3. I don’t know if the video does not show It right, but I think the effect is not well implemented in the led strip.
    The knight rider lights should fade only on one side, I mean, they work like if It’s a single light spot that moves left and right leaving a trail.
    Anyways, It’s a great hommage and I Love It.

  4. Back when I went to and then worked for the University of Oregon, I always wanted to do something like this to the big sign for the Knight Library, or now maybe the Matthew Knight Arena.

    (University of Oregon sports is practically a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nike and their former CEO, Phil Knight, who’s poured a billion dollars into it, and the rest of the university isn’t far behind.)

  5. The few times I’ve attempted “No one could possibly object to this harmless altering of signage” the single representative of the Fun Police quickly proved me wrong. Once they report it to admin the higher ups are kinda obligated to take this absolutely nonsense seriously. It’s a crap system.

    1. To be fair, as much as I love a joke, it’s got to be pulled down at some point because otherwise we’d have all sorts of random tat on things. One person’s harmless joke is another’s annoying, pointless nod to an ancient TV programme that they didn’t like. I’d consider it a win if it lasted a week.

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