I just found this cool costume that Spencer Bialek posted from Rojo Academy in Victoria, British Columbia. He created it with the rest of his designer posse over the summer, as he and his friends all like to participate in festivals. It has some great LED action, thanks to a gyroscope and accelerometer located on the arm. Spencer’s friends, Steve and Alex, bailed him out with parts, which included NeoPixel Strip and a MPU-6050 (a gyroscope/accelerometer combo). Spencer found the Adafruit NeoPixel Learning Guide and quickly got up to speed on how they worked. Then it was just a matter of getting the gyroscope movements down.
It wasn’t too long before I discovered Jeff Rowberg, a man who decided to reverse engineer the MPU-6050, allowing Arduino hobbyists to access the Digital Motion Processor (DMP) algorithms. He readily admits that his solution was not perfect, and there are problems which need to be fixed in the future, but I decided to give it a shot.
Luckily things worked out, and Spencer was able to control the brightness level of an LED. Now he just had to figure out how to design the costume, and luckily, his girlfriend, Kasi, had some ideas. They started with a vest, and added sleeves, as well as a hood. The result was cyber gangster!
Spencer improved the code to allow for the movements to control brightness, color and also the number of LEDs illuminated. It’s fun to watch how his movements affect the costume, and it’s a great example of how NeoPixels can be used to create patterns on wearables. For making your own more streamlined version, you could go with a FLORA microcontroller, NeoPixel strip and the FLORA Accelerometer/Gyroscope/Magnetometer. We’ve got a learning guide on the 9-DOF Sensors that will make your life easier, too. Have fun exploring smart costumes.
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!