Introduction: Borg Halloween Costume

About: I build robots to encourage others to do the same. I believe the future is in robotics and playing a part for the future is my passion. Check out my website to see what else I'm up too. :)
I AM BORG.... (for halloween anyway, and you can be too)

This is an instructable of my Borg outfit that I am building. For the outter layer, I'm using hockey pads that I had painted black. I'm adding a few additional features onto the Borg character that some true trekies may not appreciate (sorry dudes). I guess the story of the Borg is they assimulate all technology, so let's just pretend the assimulated an LCD screen, an Antenna and some Pulsating Lights.

Head Unit
The head unit is carved out of a soft block of foam and is secured to my head via a black headband that is attached to it. The eye peice is half of a plastic petri dish, so it's functional as I can see through it. The circuit is operating off my custom microcontroller board running a Microchip Pic 16F877a @ 20 MHZ. A little overboard for what I need, but it's what my board is pinned for. There is a Sharp IR Distance Sensor on the front, a servo with a laser and many random LEDs. The servo moves the laser around randomly, until an object comes within 30 cm (1 foot) of the distance sensor... Then, the servo aims the laser at the object directly in front. The idea is the laser will scan around when i'm walking, and aim itself at someone when I stop to talk to them. The LEDs randomly flicker, as if loading and processing information.

PWM Lights
There is a second board with a 16F864A @ 20 mhz that controls a NPN transistor that's hooked to a pile or LEDs. I wrote some pulse wave modulation code that pulses the LED's from dark to bright over a 3-4 second period.

LCD Screen
The LCD is powered by 4 7.2v 2200 mah batteries. They are arranged to provide 14.4v @ 4400 mah. On my test, I was able to power the screen for 3.5 hours with 14.4v @ 2200 mah. The screen display is a combination of text from the analog sharp distance sensor overlayed on top of some graphic coding that takes me back to my 90's demo days. Some worm holes, spirals and plasma. I also threw a few scrolling bitmaps of assembler code and a terminal session in unix.

Step 1: The Suit

First you'll have to get the items to build the suit. You can try a used sport wear shop, pawn shop, salvation army, walmart, zellers, etc.

I bought a pile of hockey pads for pretty cheap. They were new from Walmart, but on sale.

I then painted them all black with a can of spray paint.

Then I added a light coat of silver to give it some flicker.

Step 2: Chest Peice

You'll need a chest peice to add all your gadgets and lights too. I goalie chest protector. It's for kids street hockey, so it's not heavy and bulky.

I also painted it, because it was blue originally.

Step 3: Fancy Lighting

Well! This is where you can be as creative as you wish... And it doesn't have to be very difficult.

If you go to a dollar store, you'll find many little cheap toys that light up. I found pins that flash, little flash lights, and a pair of gloves with finger lights. All for $1 each!

I went a little crazy with my electronic hardware/software programming ability, however. I designed a circuit board that pulsates all of the body suit LED's from dim to bright over a period of 3-4 seconds.

Step 4: Head Peice

Your borg doesn't necessarily need a head peice, but it sure helps. It's actually a lot easier to make then you would think!

Go to your hobby/craft store and buy a soft block of foam. I used a pair of scissors and carved the foam to shape the contour of my head. I then used a hot glue gun and attached a head band to the foam.

Then paint the entire peice black. If you had added any features or lights, make sure you mask them off first to avoid getting paint on them.

Next, you'll want to add lighting to your head peice. I designed a circuit board with a servo, laser, sharp IR distance sensor, and led's. You can attach maybe a flashlight, or some other led lights to yours.

My head peice adjusts the laser automatically when people come near me. It sure gets a lot of attention :)

Step 5: LCD Screen [optional]

I had an LCD screen lieing around from one of my old cars. Not many people will have one, but i suspect you may be able to find something similar for cheap if you wish.

I also bet you can purchase a portable dvd player from a surplus electronics store for cheap!

I cut out a whole in my vest and secured the screen.

The screen is powered by 14.4 volts at 4400 mah batteries.

You can display something on your screen by either an ipod, or the portable dvd player.

I used a circuit that I designed to display text and play mpeg's and graphics that I had programmed.

Step 6: Makeup

The Borg makeup is very easy. Make sure you have shaven first (if you're old like me). Smooth skin makes the white makeup stick and look better.

Mix a very tiny bit of green with the white makeup. You don't want to look dead, just pale with a bit of green. Remember, you're blood is going to be green so you'll want the skin to be green :)

Step 7: Done!

Now you are Borg!

PS, You'll want to wear something black under the pads. I suggest a pair of black jogging pants and a black shirt/sweater (depends if you'll be inside or outside)

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