While Cosplay electronic projects may seem overwhelming for some, implementing an Arduino board and using open-source codes makes the task simpler. The C++ based language library requires variables, functions and loops for creating automated effects. The miniature computer board, software and wiring control actuators and sensors that produce a response according to input received from the environment. Many project designers happily share detailed tutorials and you can build something with simple hand tools and acquire the codes by connecting the Arduino programmable control board to a PC via a USB cable. As Comicon isn’t until July, you have plenty of time to perfect your ultimate costume.
This build would work for a variety of winged characters from the Marvel, DC, Tolkien and Warhammer universes and although the people in the video made parts with CNC machinery, it is possible to make something similar with less expensive equipment. Using fairly simply hand tools for constructing the skeleton, a solder station for compiling the electronic components and you have an impressive display. The wings fold and unfold through actuators controlled through an Arduino microcontroller and, although basic in appearance, add some feathers or a leathery skin to the lightweight framework and you have a very cool centrepiece for your costume
Iron Man Hand
Arduino inspired this Marvel comics fan and, by bringing out the budding Tony Stark, this replica of IronMan’s hand. When tilting the hand back, a magnet hidden under the back of the hand plate completes the circuit on the reed switch embedded in the forearm. The circuit activates the Arduino controller, which sends current to the LED display in the palm of the hand, mimicking the hand repulsors that are used as weapons and as power in flight. Closing the hand interrupts the circuit and turns the light off. The advantage of the Arduino here is that it allows you better fine control of the appearance of the light, so you can have it get brighter and dim, rather than just turn on and off without having to add in a potentiometer and try and have the action of the wrist manually operate the dimming. You can also add additional inputs and outputs to the system such as a gyroscope which would allow the repulsor light to work in two different ways without having to flick a manual switch.
When you tilt the hand back with your hands by your sides you can program the Arduino to output a steady light and an engine like noise, raise your arm in front of you and the light changes to the repulsor weapon, building up to a big pulse of light and the right weapon noise.
Iron Man Helmet
Moving beyond the complexities of the Iron Man hand, another cosplay designer presents their version of the Marvel hero’s helmet complete with opening and closing visor along with illuminated eye sockets.
The dazzling display also features metallic sound effects that really make the helmet seem that much more real.. Using Arduino components and software, the possibilities for equipping costumes, props or weaponry with movement, light and sound brings Cosplay to a whole new level.
IronMan War Machine
This creation illustrates the extensive capabilities of a few inexpensive electronic components controlled by Arduino. Not merely satisfied with having a costume complete with functional helmet, repulsor beams and arc receptor heart, this creative soul takes the build even further.
The complete armored outfit comes equipped with animated forearm and backpack machine guns for the ultimate warrior effect. The stunning display no doubt sparks envy in many a Comicon Cosplayer. Similar versions continue erupting. One industrious parent began with a simple store bought costume and using his solder station and Arduino, recreated Iron Man for his small son complete with CO2 cartridges that eject small paper projectiles.
Whether your Cosplay interests lie in anime, comic book characters, steam punk or any other realm, the Arduino microcontroller brings costumes to life in unbelievable ways. Replicate a design with the help of previous innovative inventors, embellish an existing creation or construct something never before seen. The compact electronic technology of Arduino provides the perfect outlet for combining a love of computers, electronics and math. The flexibility of the microcomputer attracts gadgetry builders of all ages and skill levels. Start with a simple project design and advance to a device with any number of spectacular special effects.
Christopher Parkinson originally studied microprocessor design theory before testing phone lines and repairing faulty circuit boards for a couple of telco companies. His interest in electronics started at an early age when he used a screwdriver to open up a video game cartridge to see how it worked. These days Chris is a home electronics enthusiast who enjoys tampering with the latest a technology when not writing about the latest oscilloscopes and newest types of probes available.