I have worked on several projects using blimps and balloons, and here I would like to share one of them, Beatfly. This is an illuminating blimp controlled with various interfaces such as voice, Keyboard, MIDI Controller, Garageband MIDI file, iPhone&iPod Touch, and Flash application. I implemented the core functions in Quartz Composer plug-ins, an easy-to-use visual programming environment from Apple, so that you do not have to write any source code to connect your interfaces and the blimp.

[Mac OSX Only]
Because I use Quartz Composer, my program works only on Mac OSX. I am now extending and improving it toward cross-platform. If you have knowledge of computer programming, you can make your own system that connects to the blimp. The communication protocol between the blimp and the computer is simple. Read the step 19.

Step 1: Materials and tools

1x Funnel IO
2x XBee
1x Xbee Explorer USB
1x TLC5940 LED Driver
1x IC socket
5x Full-Color Flux LED [Anode Common]
3x LB1638 Motor Driver 
3x DC Motor (e.g., MK07-3.3 Orange Motor)
3x Propeller (e.g., EP2510)
1x LiPo Battery
1x 2kΩ Register (for LEDs)
3x 0~30Ω Register (for Motors)

Circuit board
Pin socket (2x 14pin, 8x2pin)
Pin header (2x 14pin)
Heat shrink tube

Plastic sheet (0.5mm thick)
Plastic film for the balloon**

Wire stripper
Solder & Soldering iron

Helium tank

I use Heptax plastic film. I think you can use other transparent plastic film. If you cannot find any good film, please contact me. I give you my film.

<p>I will make this! <br> </p>
i'm not a programmer has anybody made progress on a communications protocol on windows?<br>
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Cool! Thanks for posting.<br />
&nbsp;Nice job... 4 stars...&nbsp;

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More by Hideki: Beatfly : Make an illuminating blimp and control it with your voice, Keyboard, MIDI Controller, Garageband file, iPhone, Flash, and more! [Mac OSX]
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