Space Wizard Suit with Wrist Action #WearableWednesday
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.
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.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.