Most computer and console games have a variety of different control schemes depending on the controller peripheral the player has to hand. For Star Wars games the fight scenes may be playable with a gamepad, but perhaps that leaves a little to desired in the realism department. In that case, [Leonardo Moreno] has the solution, in the form of a motion sensing light sabre for gaming via gesture control.
The first part of any light sabre project is the sabre itself, and for this he uses soft transparent PVC tubing. This might seem an insubstantial choice, but makes sense when the possibility of hitting an expensive television or gamers monitor with it is considered. Up the pipe goes a piece of LED strip, and onto it a hilt containing an Arduino and an MPU6050 gyroscope sensor. The physical controls come courtesy of a small analogue joystick and a trigger fashioned from a wooden clothes pin. The result may be a little rough and ready, but it’s undeniably a light sabre. Full instructions and software can be found at the link.
Light sabres have been a perennial build, but few have captured the original better than this laser based one.
In an increasingly paperless society, writing implements are becoming an obsolete technology for many of us. Certainly not the kind of thing the average person would think to spend more than a couple bucks on, to say nothing of machining one out of a solid piece of aluminum bar stock. But clearly [Bob] is not most people. He recently dropped us a line about a video he uploaded to his aptly-named YouTube channel “Making Stuff”, where he goes through the steps required to turn raw materials into a writing instrument worthy of a Jedi.
Starting with a piece of aluminum chucked up in the lathe, [Bob] cuts out the iconic ribbed profile of Luke’s saber and fills in the gaps with nothing more exotic than a black Sharpie. He then moves on to the more complex shape of the emitter, and then flips the handle over in the lathe and hollows it out so a brass tube can be inserted.
Somewhat surprisingly, it seems more effort ends up being put into the acrylic “blade” than the aluminum handle itself. A chunk of acrylic is drilled and tapped so that it can be mounted in the chuck, and then turned down into a long cylinder. A tip is then cut in the end, the length of the blade is hollowed out, and finally it gets polished up to a nice shine.
The build is completed by inserting a standard ink pen cartridge down the center of the now completed saber. Surely the pen aficionados will lament that he didn’t attempt to build his own ink cartridge as well, but we think he gets a pass considering the rest of it was made from scratch.
If even a glorious writing instrument such as this isn’t enough to get you to re-learn how to write your name, fear not. Whether you’re making music or capturing flags, we’ve played home to numerous other saber projects; eye-safe or otherwise.
I have heard the joke several times that a light saber would make a great bug zapper. However, when [Ricky Sumbody] requested it on Facebook, I thought “why not?”. [Ricky] made a common mistake, he thought the bulb was the part that actually zaps the bugs. A quick google search revealed that many people had the same thought. I decide that, even though building a functional bug zapping light saber might not look as cool, I was going to do it anyway.
If you’re going to follow these instructions, be aware that this is a device that is literally designed to shock things to death. It is dangerous.
What would you do if you were driving along the highway and you glanced into a field to see a giant array of fluorescent tubes lit wirelessly from the electromagnetic fields of power lines. Back in 2004, [Richard Box] set up this display after hearing about a friend playing “light saber” with fluorescent tubes under power lines. The tubes can be lit pretty easily by have a variation in voltage between the ends. By sticking one end in the ground and the other up in the air, he’s harnessing the strong magnetic field from the power lines. Though some thought the display was made to bring people’s attention to possible hazards of living near the lines, [Box] states that he did it just because it looked cool.