Solarbotics at Calgary Comic Expo 2013

Whelp, many moons have passed since we posted last time (er, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration), and many a thing have happened. We went to Las Vegas to the Magento conference, lasered some ukuleles, but mostly were in a mad rush preparing for the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo 2013. We teamed up with a wonderful costume designer and artist Angela Dale to produce wearable pieces that merge electronics and costume design.

Here’s the first example – joint effort of Graeme Janzen, Angela Dale and Solarbotics. Custom Fosshape molded helmet is fitted perfectly to the wearer, and 3 layers of lasercut acrylic are edge-lit with 24 high-power white LEDs:
Our Voltron Helmet is based on the Black Lion toy design from Defender of the Universe, a popular cartoon in the mid eighties. Voltron consisted of 5 robot lions that joined together to form a Giant Robot that protected the galaxy from evil doers. The Black Lion in particular is special because it formed the head and torso of the combined Robot Voltron. Since the head had two different modes: Robot and Lion, it was intriguing to try to emulate the two modes as best as we could.

We used an Ardweeny, Multipack, TTLy FTDI, 2 Star Controllers, and 2 HXT900 servos to animate our replica and make it come alive with a few electronic bits. Special thanks to Angela Dale and Robyn Ayles (props designer and full-time faculty at the Mount Royal theater program) for their assistance!

This Chameleon Cocktail Ensemble was created by Angela and her assistants as a part of MakeFashion project. It uses 20 meter of addressable LED strips (add 5 meters in the headdress) powered by 3.7V LiPoly batteries, and ArduinoPro Mini to control the lighting sequences.

We also hosted the Arduino workshop at the Expo, with a slight costuming application bend and many blinky lights…
..and did lots of people watching.

Check out our Flickr photostream for details on more projects and photos!