A lot of people do last-minute costumes. Costumes that require the use of electronic parts are sort of the polar opposite of that.
After the costume is sewn or painted or constructed, electronic crafters are still putting the finishing touches on their code weeks later. And unlike your ordinary Halloween costume, these use the DIY friendly microcontroller Arduino or mini-computer Raspberry Pi to ensure that costumes don’t just look, but behave the part.
We’ve made sure that all of these costumes come with full tutorials. But even if you’re not ready to start building, it’s never too soon to admire. Here are six creative Halloween costumes that all harness the power of electronics to incredible effect:
This Adafruit tutorial isn’t short on complexity; even just a partial execution of this costume would generate an incredible effect on Halloween. Phil Burgess made a mask that uses an Arduino-powered set of LED matrices and a voice changer to create a spooky demon face whose animations respond to the sound of the wearer’s voice.
Concerned that his previous year’s Ghostbusters costume wasn’t accurate enough, Ian Fagan (aka depotdevoid) built an Arduino into his proton pack. A simple Arduino Sketch program instructs the pack to blink in the same patterns as in the movie, LEDs on an Arduino shield provide green and red laser beams that fire on Fagan’s command.
For fairy wings that really glow, Angela Sheehan employs an LED circuit and a battery pack on a store-bought costume. The fiber optics can be bent into a variety of shapes, and the battery pack stays hidden at the base of the wings. She notes that it would be easy enough to add sparkling and blinking light by hooking up the circuit to an Arduino Lilypad first.
What do you do when your daughter wants to be a traffic light for Halloween? If you’re awesome dad Dave King, you grab an Arduino and wrangle some wires. The finished costume uses 48 LEDs in red, yellow, and green that transfer routinely from one to the next in “normal” mode and flash in time with music in “dance party” mode.
Eric Marks’ Tron costume features a color-changing disk and a voice-changing helmet. The jacket pairs with his phone via Bluetooth radio. It’s an astoundingly complicated costume and an Arduino Nano is only the tip of the hardware-requirement iceberg, but also very well documented. Check out the entirety of the code on GitHub.
Scout master Carl Monk created this costume, DeLorean Time Circuit and Flux Capacitor, for a Boy Scouts costume party. He outlined his process in such detail that even beginners should understand it. A more difficult problem for Monk was that half the teens at the Scout party had no idea what his costume was.
Become the smartest artificial lifeform in the Halo universe with this Cortana body suit. It utilizes 3-D printed parts, a Gemma miniature wearables electronic platform, and a Neopixel RGB LED ring to mimic the blinking lights on Cortana’s pixelated body. Adafruit’s tutorial covers the costume from circuit planning to coding to assembly.