Sean loves seeing the Yo Gabba Gabba episode, “Robots”, so when I asked him what he wanted to be for Halloween, his answer was, “Robot.” I scrounged the internet for DIY robot costumes and even though they were all cute, I wanted something more interactive and geeky. I knew I wanted the arms and legs to be made from those exhaust ducts they use for dryers, the body from a cardboard box painted silver, LED lights, and a rotating radar dish on his head.
We headed to Fry’s and found some LED lights but they were too pricey but fortunately, we found this Velleman Wheel of Fortune kit and this Velleman Sound to Light kit for $6 each. We also bought some glow sticks to act as “power cells” for the robot. I considered getting a gauge that would measure volume but we already had the Sound to Light kit. For the rotating dish on the top of the robot’s head, I painted a plastic bowl silver and had Andy rig up something on his Lego Mindstorm to make it rotate. He was going to attach a light sensor so the dish would turn towards the brightest light source but he couldn’t figure out a way for it to turn without getting the wires all wrapped around itself so he opted for a simple program that would just have the radar dish rotate clockwise and counterclockwise.
I made an access panel to view his main logic board made from my retired iBook.
We broke it out at our neighborhood Halloween festival and won Most Creative Costume. A lot of the kids gathered around the costume when Sean was not wearing it to turn on the different components. Even though Sean thought it was a cool costume, he didn’t like wearing it because it was very uncomfortable and a tad heavy. We had to talk him into wearing it for trick or treating but after going to a few houses, the idea of trick or treating overrode his discomfort and he was just a fiend about running to the houses and knocking on the doors. Great Halloween this year though next year, it’ll be all about comfort.