I like to make the kids’ costumes each year for Halloween and when I asked Sean what he wanted to be, he said he wanted to be a robot. This was fine except he was a robot last year. I tried to change his mind but he was fixed on being a robot except this year, I tried to make it more comfortable (I mean, as comfortable as a cardboard box costume can be).
Sean’s costume is a true family project because I would design the costume and Andy would make all the electrical components that went with it. I wanted to make it interactive and sturdy so Sean or his friends can play with it too.
Here is the control panel:
On top, there’s a rotating satellite dish made from spray painting a plastic bowl affixed to a tiny motor. Last time, we used a Lego Mindstorm motor which was too heavy and had to be attached to the back of his costume. There’s a button next to it to turn it on and make it rotate around his head. I was going to make a slot labeled, “Brain Candy”, for people to insert candy while trick or treating but I thought Sean might not like to carry more stuff on his head. The head part is connected by velcro so he can take it off.
We used a couple of electronic kits we got last year at Fry’s. This one is voice activated and lights up when it hears noise.
This kit is a Wheel of Fortune kit with a switch attached to turn it on and off. The chaser lights are on but once you flip the switch, it slows down and stops on a random colored light.
I am not sure what this thing is but I saw it at Lowe’s and got it. I actually hesitated because it was next to a disco ball and this spherical rotating light thing. A disco dancing robot, how awesome would that be?! But I went safe…
On the bottom, I wanted a type of screen. First I thought of attatching an iPod Touch and having a trippy, interactive app for people to play with and we tried it out at Sean’s school’s fall festival but the app kept falling asleep so I changed it to one of those old school Doodle Pads that you slide a level to erase. I also thought of having a magnetic plate and sticking those magnetic gears toys on. I finally settled on this:
It’s a robot extender arm. Just in case he loses one during a robot fight or something.
Next was just some glowsticks as the power source. I used velcro but if I had more time, I would have made something that was the right size for the glowsticks to just clip on.
Last year, we used dryer ducts for his arms and legs and he hated them so I made some robot arms and legs. They have velcro so they can be interchangeable and in the back is elastic so they can go over his normal clothes. I got the idea from Joel of the Made by Joel site. Joel’s is more classy with more sewing and artistic skillz. Mine is more a mix of found scraps, glue, some sewing, and duct tape. I made something for his gray shirt too so when he does not want to wear the full costume, he can just wear the robot arms, legs, and the gray shirt.
To get into the suit, I found a buckle at Jo Ann’s so it opens in the back. Last year, the whole box just went over his head. Oh yeah, also in the back… Jet packs!
I wished I had taken pictures of the costume when it was night time because it was even more awesome.