A Blinktastic LED Matrix Backpack #WearableWednesday
Here’s a tricked out backpack by Michelle Leonhart that will certainly have you seen on the road. She should know — she did some test spins with the matrix just slapped onto her backpack. If she can survive LA traffic, then you can only assume it’s good to go! One of the nice features is that the LEDs are underneath some sheer orange fabric, giving it a modern tech edge. You can get the look by following along on her Instructables.
Michelle simplified the LED process and saved money by cutting apart RGB LED strips and connecting them with three conductor conductive ribbon. You could always have more lights by keeping the strips intact, but with Michelle’s fabric diffusion, these look great as they are. She used our Adafruit Neomatrix library and then had fun hacking the code dealing with the Arduino position and arrangement of the LEDs. That’s how the LEDs end up looking random. Hey, it’s good to make it your own!
Michelle is a big fan of open source everything and also spends time coaching girl robotic teams and teaching code. In her own words,
I enjoy contributing to open source hardware and software, helping others be awesome at tech, and encouraging little girls to tell anybody who says engineering isn’t cool to go kick rocks.
We can all help the maker movement just by documenting our work and turning into tutorials like Michelle. It’s easy to forget, but so important. So, get at it already and let us post it! Oh yeah, and check out our Brake Light Backpack for some more safety fun.
Adafruit has had paid day off for voting for our team for years, if you need help getting that going for your organization, let us know – we can share how and why we did this as well as the good results. Here are some resources for voting by mail, voting in person, and some NY resources for our NY based teams as well. If there are additional resources to add, please let us know – adafruit.com/vote
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.