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October 31, 2014 AT 12:00 am

Make A Special Effect Space Suit #ElectronicHalloween

Make a special effect spacesuit for Halloween. via instructables

You may not get to jump around in zero-G with this space suit, but you’ll certainly be the talk of the party when you walk in wearing this one! Combining my love of Halloween and my even greater love of space, I set out to make an interactive spacesuit. The spacesuit combines an Intel Galileo board and a mix of LEDs and other electronic goodies to display custom animations and play sound clips from your favorite space missions!

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Picture of Spacesuit Design Overview
The suit is composed of five main components: the chest piece, gloves, boots, a cap, and the suit itself.

Chest Piece:

The centerpiece of the suit is made of many different panels of laser-cut wood and acrylic that interlock with screws and nuts. A clear acrylic window shows of the Galileo for extra circuit/LED pizzazz. The chest piece is wrapped in strips of Tyvek to give it a nice crinkly-yet-clean and modern spacesuit look. The unit rests on the shoulders and houses all of the electronics to keep things nice and easy to wear. The whole system is powered by a beefy LiPo battery pack that should keep things running for a few solid hours. Everything is controlled by an Intel Galileo that connects to an 8 by 16 white LED matrix, MP3 playback module, and three buttons for basic user input. The software running on the Galileo has three main modes: Game of Life animation, audio clip playback, and scrolling marquee mode. By default, the program will show Conway’s Game of Life on the display (I chose cellular automata as a nod to the search for tiny extraterrestrial life, plus it just looks so darn neat for such minimal programming!). The next mode will play audio clips from classic space missions through a tiny speaker; pressing the left or right buttons plays the next or previous clip stored on the micro SD card in the module. NASA provides great classic sound bites here. The final mode is a scrolling marquee displaying a custom message forever on the LEDs; the left and right buttons controls the speed of the scrolling. At any point, the user can press and hold the center button for a couple seconds to cycle to the next mode.

Gloves:

The gloves are a simple three piece set of hardware store finds. Black dish gloves rest inside of a plastic gutter adapter with Tyvek bunched towards the base for comfort and style.

Boots:

Simple white rain boots make for excellent space suit boots. I finished them off with two large strips of Velcro to cover the fishing company logo and provide a nice contrasting band towards the bottom of the suit.

Cap:

Rather than make a large space helmet that would make party-going conversation and Halloween food consumption awkward, a simple striped skullcap makes for a properly-themed head cover. This piece requires some sewing know-how (I decided to phone a friend for this step!), but a black balaclava would make for a nice, ready-made alternative.

Body:

A comfy cotton coverall makes up for most of the body covering. Flipping up the collar and ironing a wee flag to the shoulder tweaks things enough to make a more cohesive costume.

Full tutorial


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