Every year I ask my children what thy would like to be for Halloween. My son asked to be Flint Lockwood from the movie Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs, so we decided to also make the FLDSMDFR machine to use as a prop.
In order to make it extra cool, I decided to give it glowing rainbow lights and distinct sounds from the movie, while allowing it to be controlled via Bluetooth with my cell phone.
I followed some basic ideas that are covered by the excellent article/tutorial/project: Bluetooth Talking Dog Collar. Since that project is so well documented and much of the material and process that I used for the underlying technology is presented in that project, I highly recommend it.
The materials that I used for this project include:
USB 5V Battery Bank (2A output preferred)
Short USB Micro Cable
1/2" CPVC (for the legs)
4x 3/4" grey barb hose fittings
4x 20x30" sheet of Adam's Readi-Board
Clear or glow plastic Halloween bucket 6" deep 8" diameter
Step 1: Electronics, Arduino, and Sound
As stated in the introduction, the project Bluetooth Talking Dog Collar, covers the wiring, and basic ideas of communication and sound. I also added Neopixel rings to the project which are also well documented using Arduino libraries and interface. I have attached the Arduino code used in the Adafruit Feather BLE board.
The sound clip files were generated using the program Audacity as recorded via the sound output while the movie played. The clips were then trimmed and exported as OGG file format, though WAV files could be used by the hardware as well.
Once the files were named and placed into the Audio SFX board via USB computer interface, they were then available to be played via the Adafruit Feather BLE board.
Step 2: Bucket, Lights, and Structure
Extension leads were soldered to the large 1/4 LED light ring sections with about 2 inches between them with the last segment wired to the small LED light ring using a 10inch extension lead (to reach the bottom of the bucket). The Adafruit Feather fed the control signal via pin 12 into the IN pin of the first LED board. The OUT signal of that board was then fed into the IN pin of the next LED board and so on through the 4 quarters of the large LED ring and finally to the small LED ring.
A small frame was constructed using the foam board and the small Neopixel LED ring was hot melt glued to the outside on the bottom facing down. The 1/4 Neopixel ring boards were hot melt glued inside of the top lip of the bucket facing upward.
The Adafruit Feather board, sound effects board, and the 5V USB battery bank (that supplies the 5V power via the USB cable to the Feather board) were the secured to the frame. The USB battery bank was specifically strapped to the bottom plate in order to facilitate the access to the on/off button through a small hole though the foam. This also allowed a small access door to be cut out of the bottom foam for later charging and cable access.
Once all of the electronics were secured and determines to be accessible, especially after the planned shell was constructed, it was ready for the outside shell and decorative touches.
Step 3: Finishing and Flaunting
The outside of the FLDSMDFR was constructed using the Adam's Readi-board and hot glue. Some of the elements were lightly spray painted to achieve their color such as the black fingers on the bottom, the grey input funnel on the to, and the silver legs.
The major decorative elements were simulated using colored card stock, while an orange marker was used to add the final touch.