Halloween costumes can be anything from an expensive authentic recreation of a character’s garb, to a cheap knockoff bought from one of those overcrowded pop-up stores. Alternatively, you can get creative and conceptual about things, such as by building yourself a crosswalk sign costume.
The creation of [jared531], the build uses a large piece of cardboard painted black as the base. This sits behind the wearer, and is given a yellow outline to emulate the crosswalk signals common in the US. Red fairy lights are then laid out on half of the cardboard in a pattern emulating the “STOP” hand signal.
The wearer should then dress in all-black garb, and attach the flat cardboard panel to themselves with elastic straps. A black mesh face covering helps to complete the look by blending in the wearer’s face. They are then outfitted with white fairy lights around their body, emulating the “WALK” signal.
It’s a simple concept, but quite accurately replicates a typical crosswalk sign. It’s something we certainly haven’t seen before, which is impressive in this Internet era when anything new is old again mere minutes later.
If your tastes are more avant-garde, though, consider going the TV head route next year. If you’ve built your own high-tech, high-concept costume, hit us up on the tips line!
Halloween may be behind us, but we couldn’t resist showing you [Mellow]’s latest project: an automatic candy dispenser that takes the hard work out of serving trick-or-treaters. It’s a cool build that might serve as an inspiration for next year’s Halloween project, or perhaps for a different occasion altogether: think birthday parties or Valentine’s Day. After all, when’s a bad time to give sweet treats to someone you love?
The basic concept is a scary face, made of wood, that disgorges a set amount of candy through its mouth after you press its nose. The dispensing mechanism is made from 3D printed mechanical parts as well as a piece of drain pipe. Candy is stored in the pipe, with a servo-operated flap releasing a set amount each time the nose is pressed. [Mellow] cleverly designed the flap to be somewhat flexible, so that it wouldn’t crush any candy bars that got stuck between it and the pipe.
A Wemos D1 Mini reads out the nose switch and drives the candy-dispensing servo, as well as a further two servos that swivel the eyes left and right for an additional visual effect. The original idea was to have the eyes swiveling all the time, but because the mechanism turned out to be quite loud [Mellow] changed the code to only move them during the candy-dispensing process.
We’ve seen several designs for automated candy dispensers over the years, ranging from a Jack-o-Lantern that holds enough candy to feed a small city, to a beautifully over-engineered machine more suitable as a Valentine’s Day gift.
Continue reading “Automatic Candy Dispenser Takes The Hard Work Out Of Halloween”
Sad news for kids and adults alike as Lego announces the end of the Mindstorms line. The much-wish-listed line of robotics construction toys will be discontinued by the end of this year, nearly a quarter-century after its 1998 introduction, while support for the mobile apps will continue for another couple of years. It’s probably fair to say that Mindstorms launched an entire generation of engineering careers, as it provided a way to quickly prototype ideas that would have been difficult to realize without the snap-fit parts and easily programmed controllers. For our money, that ability to rapidly move from idea to working model was perhaps the strongest argument for using Mindstorms, since it prevented that loss of momentum that so often kills projects. That was before the maker movement, though, and now that servos and microcontrollers are only an Amazon order away and custom plastic structural elements can pop off a 3D printer in a couple of hours, we can see how Mindstorms might no longer be profitable. So maybe it’s a good day to drag out the Mindstorms, or even just that big box of Lego parts, and just sit on the carpet and make something.
Continue reading “Hackaday Links: October 30, 2022”
The Nintendo GameCube in many ways defied expectations. It was purple, it had buttons shaped like beans, and it didn’t launch with a Mario game. What we got instead was the horror-adjacent ghost adventure game starring Mario’s brother — Luigi’s Mansion. The game was a graphical showpiece for the time, however, the camera angles were all fixed like an early Resident Evil game. Not satisfied with playing within those bounds, modder [Sky Bluigi] created a first person camera patch for the game that finally let players see why Luigi was so freaked out all the time.
The patch dubbed Luigi’s Mansion FPO (First Person Optimized) does a lot to drive home the game’s child-friendly, spooky aesthetic. Along with the ability to explore environments with a new lens, it provides the ability to turn the flashlight on and off manually if you want. Though the most impressive part of Luigi’s Mansion FPO is that it runs on real hardware. All that’s needed to play the mod is clean image of the North American release of Luigi’s Mansion and a .xdelta patching utility like Delta Patcher. GameCube games can be ripped directly to a USB thumb drive using a soft-modded Nintendo Wii console running Clean Rip or similar backup tool.
Luigi’s Mansion FPO actually provides a collection of patches that offer revised controls and increased field of view depending on which patch is used. The original game had inverted controls for aiming Luigi’s ghost vacuum, so the “Invert C-Stick Controls” patch will install a more modern aiming scheme where up on the right stick will aim upwards and vice versa. The “Better FOV” pulls the camera a little further back from where Luigi’s head would be while the original aiming scheme is retained. Though no matter which patch you decide to go with, a mod like this is always a good excuse to revisit a cult classic.
For another fresh GameCube mod check out this post about a Raspberry Pi Pico based modchip for the system.
Continue reading “Luigi’s Mansion First Person Mod Brings Spooky New Perspective”
Tensegrity sculptures are fun things, and often sold as office desk toys or scientific novelties. You can build your own too, and [seabirdhh] has whipped up a fun holiday-themed version.
The first part to build is the egg-hat-stand. This consists of the base of the structure, with the “hat” of the egg character hanging in the center. The other half of the structure is built separately, with the rest of the “egg head” sitting in a cup in the bottom of the upper structure. A series of nylon threads are then tied between the components. These can then be tensioned to give the structure its shape, allowing the egg’s “hat” to hover above its “head”. [seabirdhh] passes the nylon threads through small pieces of rubber that allow the tension to be adjusted just right. Too little and the structure falls down, but too much, and it will bend over time. Tuning it carefully is key.
It’s a fun build, and a cheap way to experiment with tensegrity concepts at home. You can even use these same techniques to build a quadcopter, or apply them in the world of LEGO. Video after the break.
Continue reading “Build This Halloween-Themed TensEGGrity Sculpture”
It’s the spookiest time of year once again, and hackers across the globe are cobbling together some spine-chilling projects. [Kevin] is amongst them, and has created a spooky, scary skeleton just in time for Halloween.
The project works in a relatively simple fashion: essentially, a Raspberry Pi Pico is charged with reading an HC-SR04 ultrasonic rangefinder. It’s all wrapped up in a 3D-printed skull-like housing. When the skeleton detects someone or something close in front, the Pi triggers a small servo hooked up to a 3D-printed gear. This interfaces with a pair of racks which drive the skull’s eyebrows up and down, and opens and shuts its jaw.
Of course, there are some major anatomical problems here. Skulls don’t have eyebrows; that’s just not possible. Eyebrows are hair attached to flesh and muscle; they simply don’t exist in the world of bone. However, it’s fair to say [Kevin]’s taking creative license for the sake of the holiday, and we can all support that.
This is a basic build, and a fun one. It would be an excellent way to learn some basic microcontroller skills, while also serving as a great little Halloween charm to scare guests going back to the fridge for another beverage.
We get a cavalcade of quality holiday hacks every year around this time. This year should be no exception – so get your spooktacular hacks into the tips line, post-haste! Video after the break.
Continue reading “Spooky, Scary Skeleton Is Pi Pico Powered”
Jump scares are controversial in the horror world, whether you’re talking about movies or video games. You can bring that same irritating thrill into real life, too, with this Halloween mirror from [jasonwinfieldnz].
During the day, or simply when it’s bright inside, the mirror appears normal, like any other. However, behind the special two-way mirrored glass surface is a spooky 3D print, such as a skull or an annoying yellow cartoon character. When the lighting level gets low, everything changes. A light-dependent resistor hooked up to a Digispark detects the change, and then fires up some 5V LEDs to light the scary image, revealing it behind the mirror. Even better, it plays a loud screaming sound with the help of a DFplayer MP3 module.
We’d love to see the concept taken even further, too. It would be quite something if, when a passer-by approached, the room lights suddenly cut out and the mirror activated in its full glory.
We’ve seen some great Halloween builds over the years. If you’re eager to get one out this season, you might wanna get hacking now! Video after the break.
Continue reading “Halloween Mirror Offers A Mighty Fright”