Hulaween 2018

An interactive, vintage-style astronaut costume. The design is inspired by the 1969 movie Moon Zero Two and the operation is inspired by the Apollo Guidance Computer.

What it’s made of

How it works

On the top of the chest-mounted plastic enclosure, there is a potentiometer, four toggle switches, and a 7-segment display. On the front face of the enclosure, there are four illuminated momentary pushbuttons. Between the left and right sides, there are two tubes that each contain an LED strip and connect to the other side of the enclosure. The battery pack lies in my pocket.

The illuminated buttons select among 4 programs to run, one of which is “stop”. Some programs have multiple modes that are cycled through by pressing the same program button again.

The 7-segment display shows the current program number and the value of the most recently adjusted variable.

The potentiometer varies a single firmware variable at a time, and the toggle switches select the variable to modify. Four toggles provide selection among 15 variables, and also no variable.

Improvements I probably won’t ever get to

  1. When no variable is selected, the display cycles through the mission timer (uptime in h.mm.ss) and number of cumulative committed variable adjustments from mission start.
  2. Adding more variables for adjustment like:
    • Hue for each active layer
    • Effect speed
    • Pulse length
  3. Add long-leaded output to control an LED strip in the mask, so you can have white lighting around your face and also have cool-looking red/green/whatever blinking lights elsewhere.

Learnings

  1. Painter suits are super baggy, but they look much better if you get them tailored. The tailor will say it’s absurd but eventually they’ll do it if you persist.
  2. Fingerless gloves are great.
  3. Having run out of time I taped a few LED finger lights into the mask to light the sides of my face. They only last about 2 hours but they’re super cheap! And horrible for the environment.
  4. This project ended up costing ~$150 because I also needed to get some tools to get it done.

Resources

UFanders

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