We’ll admit that the coolness factor of an air conditioned faux spacesuit made out of a hazmat suit will largely depend on where you wear it. At your next chess club meeting, maybe a hit. On a blind date, probably not. [Saveitforparts] apparently doesn’t mind and the combination of very warm weather and the donation of an expired hazmat suit, spurred his imagination as you can see in the video below.
A battery pack, a blower, and a box full of frozen water bottles completes the ensemble. Wireless temperature sensors show the outside temperature as well as temperature inside different parts of the suit. Does it work? We guess it must, but the roar of the fan is deafening and we have doubts about the frozen water cooling system. On the other hand, if you’re shooting a low budget science fiction thriller, this might be just the thing.
Even [Saveitforparts] admits this isn’t really practical and, as we suspected, he decided to get out of it as the condensing water started to run down his legs. Turns out astronauts and tank drivers use an undergarment made with small tubes of flowing water to stay cool.
This project reminded us of the positive pressure suit we saw a bit ago. Not to mention the one that went full body.
Continue reading “Even With AC, Hazmat Suit Isn’t Really Cool” →
Motion capture is a technology used in many films, particularly the animated variety. It makes giving characters realistic movements a cinch, as they’re all based on those of a real person. [Checkered Bug] worked with a middle school group who were looking to get started, so he whipped up a capable rig on a budget.
The rig is based around a chest unit that connects out to several satellite units placed at points on the body. Each unit contains a Bosch IMU which is used to measure the acceleration and rotation of the user’s various body parts. The data is fed back to an Arduino Mega, where it’s then passed to a PC running Blender. Motion sequences can be recorded live in Blender, or saved to an SD card and imported later. Files are available on Github for those keen to recreate the project.
It’s a tidy setup that does good motion capture on a low budget. Such a rig would have been inordinately expensive back in the day, but can now be whipped up for just a few hundred dollars. We’ve seen other motion capture systems before, too. Video after the break.
Continue reading “Building A Motion Capture Suit On The Cheap” →
We see a lot of Raspberry Pis used to play games, but this is something entirely different from the latest RetroPie build. This Raspberry Pi is learning how to read playing cards, with the goal of becoming the ultimate card counting blackjack player.
If [Taxi-guy] hasn’t named his project Rain Man, we humbly suggest that he does so. Because a Pi that can count into a six-deck shoe would be quite a thing, even though it would never be allowed anywhere near a casino. Hurdle number one in counting cards is reading them, and [Taxi-guy] has done a solid job of leveraging the power of OpenCV on a Pi 3 for the task. His description in the video below is very detailed, but the approach is simple: find the cards in a PiCam image of the playing field using a combination of thresholding and contouring. Then, with the cards isolated, compare the rank and suit in the upper left corner of the rotated card image to prototype images to identify the card. The Pi provides enough horsepower to quickly identify an arbitrary number of non-overlapping cards; we assume [Taxi-guy] will have to address overlapping cards and decks that use different fonts at some point.
We’re keen to see this Pi playing blackjack someday. As he’s coding that up, he may want to look at algorithmic approaches to blackjack strategies, and the real odds of beating the house.
Continue reading “A Raspberry Pi Rain Man In The Making” →
[Rob] has been hard at work designing and building this LED suit which he can wear to parties. He’s got it working, although right now it’s just a pair of pants. It reacts to sound, and has the potential to be controlled from a smartphone via Bluetooth. You’ll find a video description of the build embedded after the break.
The planning started off by selecting driver hardware for the LEDs. [Rob] wanted the suit to pulse to the music in the room so he grabbed an MSGEQ7 chip. When connected to a microphone and opamp this chip will output a signal which can be used as a VU meter. He built the hardware into an Arduino shield, then got to work on the LED driver board. He’s using LED strips, but they’re not individually addressable. Instead he cut loops which wrap around the wearer’s legs. Each loop connects the pins of a TLC5947 LED driver chip which sinks a constant current and offers PWM abilities. He’s using PNP transistors on the high side.
For anyone that’s ever worked in a Tyvek suit before you’ll know they don’t breathe. Sweat will literally be pouring off of you. And we’d bet that’s what cause the short that burned the back of [Rob’s] leg at a recent party. Then again, your light-up pimp coats are going to be hot to wear too.
Continue reading “Building An LED Suit” →
Guess where this guy’s headed in his suit of many colors? If you said Burning Man give your self a pat on the back. After making a half-hearted EL suit for the festival in 2010 [Sander] decided he needed to step it up this year. He bought and affixed 200 LED modules to this suit so that he could light up the night.
They’re mounted in a grid, and in order to keep the changing patterns orderly he mapped the physical location of each in his code using a two-dimensional array. The controller uses an Arduino nano to push the patterns out to the array via SPI.
[Sander] included several different visual effects for the controller. One strobes the suit starting from the right cuff when he shakes someone’s hand. There’s also an audio spectrum analyzer chip and microphone that let him pulse the lights to music. You can see how bright this thing is in the image above, but to get the full effect shouldn’t skip the video after the break.
He’s entered the project into the Full Spectrum Laser Cutter giveaway. If he wins, we expect laser cut goodness for next year’s festival!
Continue reading “Smother Yourself In Addressable LEDs” →
What would you do if you were a foot or two taller? How about if you had an arm span two times as wide as you have now?
A group of Japanese engineering students asked themselves the same question and built a wearable chassis that does just that. Their project is called “Sukerutonikusu”, which we believe roughly translates to: “This is freaking awesome, we’ll take two!”. [Thopter] however informs us that it translates to “Skeletonics”, a fusion of the words “skeleton” and “mechanics”.
The suit is comprised of lightweight aluminum pipes and sheeting, allowing for it to be powered solely by the person wearing it. Stepping inside the chassis looks like it lifts the wearer about a foot and a half off the ground, while increasing their wingspan by nearly 6 feet! In the video embedded below you can see that while in the suit, the wearer is quite agile, and even has the ability to run at a decent tick.
If this ever comes to market, you can bet we will buy one in a heartbeat – until then, we will have to settle for making RoboCop sounds as we walk about the office.
Continue reading “Lightweight Robosuit Is Like Stilts On Steroids” →
When the tipline popped up with this LED suit, part two, by [Marc DeVidts] we were expecing a simple led version of the previously known EL coat.
Well we were right and wrong in the same instance. Correct in that like predictions, the outcome is stonking great. Wrong in that this suit far outpaces EL in abilities we weren’t expecting. Namely to start off, an iPhone app over WiFi dictates to some 200 Arduino multiplexed RGB LED modules to dance randomly or follow patterns; an accelerometer and microphone are also implanted to further some effects. And finally if the suit isn’t enough to make you giddy, his PCB and enclosure milling surely will. Catch a video of the entire setup after the break.
Continue reading “LED Suit Lights Up The Night” →