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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!

Backpack Parts

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.

 


Flora breadboard is Every Wednesday is Wearable Wednesday here at Adafruit! We’re bringing you the blinkiest, most fashionable, innovative, and useful wearables from around the web and in our own original projects featuring our wearable Arduino-compatible platform, FLORA. Be sure to post up your wearables projects in the forums or send us a link and you might be featured here on Wearable Wednesday!


Make a robot friend with Adafruit’s CRICKIT – A Creative Robotics & Interactive Construction Kit. It’s an add-on to our popular Circuit Playground Express, FEATHER and other platforms to make and program robots with CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. Start controlling motors, servos, solenoids. You also get signal pins, capacitive touch sensors, a NeoPixel driver and amplified speaker output. It complements & extends your boards so you can still use all the goodies on the microcontroller, now you have a robotics playground as well.

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