Our little guy is into sea creatures big time, and it really comes out at Halloween. He's been a shark a couple times, an orca (don't you dare call him a killer whale), and an octopus. Not to be left out, I figured I needed something to blend in, but I didn't want to spend a lot of time, and I'm not quite geeky enough to be comfortable spending 45 minutes on the metro in a full manatee costume. So I went for jellyfish. It's simple, doubles as an umbrella, and folds up for travel. Here's an idea of what it looks like. It was a BIG hit at the invertebrate house during "Boo at the Zoo."
The design was something I could through together thanks to having the necessary ingredients lying around or available from Amazon. These included:
- Four addressable LED light strips
- A breadboard compatible Arduino Board
- A breadboard
- Some old 4-conductor telephone wire
- A transparent umbrella
- A USB backup battery
It took me a couple hours to put it together. Most of the time was figuring out the best way to route the wires. Everything is held together with packing tape. It's a bit makeshift, but it's not particularly noticeable from any distance. Here's a closeup.
After this Halloween, it'll probably be time to retire it. I haven't decided yet whether to re-purpose the light strips into more writing productivity porn, or some sort of Christmas decoration. Any other ideas?