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November 5, 2014 AT 5:00 am

Epic Talking Bucket Head #WearableWednesday

I know I sound like a broken record, but I have to say that my guys at Hive76 really know how to make fun interactive projects. Check out the Bucket Head from my buddy, PJ Santoro. It reminds me of those amazing animated LED displays you see on houses at holiday time. Apparently I’m not the only one that likes animation.

I had a bunch of EL wire sitting around that I wanted to use for something, and I thought animation would look pretty funny.

The parts list isn’t bad for this costume — an Arduino Uno, the SparkFun EL Escudo Dos, 8 strands of EL wire and an Adafruit electret microphone. As for power, the whole thing runs for hours on an Adafruit 10 AH battery pack. Some additional materials like wire, copper tape and hot glue were also used to create the final masterpiece.

Having seen plenty of glowing stick figure costumes on the net, I find this talking version refreshing. PJ definitely got some great compliments on his costume, but he seemed to really enjoy the making the best.

My favorite part was watching the mouth move to sound for the first time. Rather than talking into the mic while I was prototyping, I was using my phone to play some stand-up comedy towards it. I couldn’t help but laugh to the image of Louis CK’s voice being animated with a glowing bucket face.

I really hope that PJ considers keeping this at our makerspace, because it’s a great conversation starter for newbs at open house. Sometimes people don’t have a project in mind, but once they see something they like, they get ideas. EL wire is a fast way to get things glowing and our tutorial on EL Wire Signs is a fun way to invent a symbol or character to light up a party. I’m already getting some ideas — glowing Thanksgiving turkey anyone?

 

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