Programmable Halloween costume

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Minneapolitan Michael Krumpus programmed his son’s halloween costume to flash LEDs in random patterns.

Like many parents, we make hand-made costumes for our kids instead of buying cheaply-made (and expensive) costumes based on licensed characters. This year, my youngest son wanted to be a robot. My wife did a great job making the costume, but I just had to add some cool electronics to take it to the next level.

The electronics are nothing fancy — a simple Atmel ATtiny13 microcontroller that interfaces with two 74HC595 shift registers to light up LEDs randomly. The technical details are below, but in the process of building this, I was really struck by how electronics and computing are being embedded into everything. This week I was making a TODO list and one of the items was “finish source code for robot costume”.

Building stuff for Halloween? Just a gentle reminder to check out our DIY Haunts Halloween contest, which ends November 2nd.

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My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal

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