Iron Man suit powered by BeagleBoard and Arduino

The BeagleBoard is an incredibly little embedded system. It’s Linux-powered, easy to hack, and has lots of connectors; everything from an expansion port with GPIO/I2C/SPI on up to HDMI. Pair it up with Arduino (don’t miss our great Arduino gift guide), and you’re unstoppable.

Enrique wrote in to tell us about the amazing BeagleBoard-powered project he made for his son:

For Halloween, my son wanted to be Iron Man. In about 2 months time, I integrated various gadgets into a store-bought costume. The most powerful components were BeagleBoard and Arduino. If I had more time, I would have added an overhead display in mask, a webcam for night vision, a 3G modem connected to BeagleBoard and maybe more. ;)

The suit is really tricked out:

  • Repulsor Air – Blows air with CO2 air pump on hip and hose back to his hand.
  • Repulsor Missile – Using CO2 air pump can also launch a paper missile.
  • Repulsor Sensor/Light – A magnetic switch sensor lights his repulsor hand light and fades out and in his glowing eyes. Arduino handles this effect.
  • Repulsor Sound Effect(s) – Originally not working. Worked around problem by using right-mouse, middle-mouse button and configured Elightenment17 to playback sound effects using Mplayer script. Mouse buttons activated by Arduino Digital output triggered by sensors.
  • Arc Reactor – A LED night light from Costco embedded in his chest.
  • BeagleBoard: Powerful Computer – With BeagleBoard already running in JARVUS box on my son’s back need to add other features. Possibilities: Web cam, mobile router with hotspot and a head-mounted display, VoIP, streaming video of Iron Man view.
  • Arduino: Super Input/Output Board – Handles repulsor effects but can add other sensors to enable even cooler special effects!!

LinuxNerd: My son in an Iron Man Suit!

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I'm a tinkerer and finally reached the point where I fix more things than I break. When I'm not tinkering, I'm probably editing a book for Maker Media.

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