Moving Snakes with Servos for a Medusa Halloween Costume
I took this Medusa costume up a tiny notch by make some of the snake heads move usings Servos and Arduino!
A quick review of who Medusa is: The famous Greek myth of Medusa is a sad story of a beautiful priestess to goddess Athena that was taken advantage of by the god Poseiden. In Athena's rage over Medusa's "betrayal", Medusa was changed into a Gorgon - a hideous creature with snakes for hair, talons, and other fun features including her eyes could turn a person into stone! She was ultimately beheaded by the hero Perseus and there is a famous statue of this act by Benvenuto Cellini in piazza della Signoria in Florence, Italy.
This costume is not done yet, so stay tuned for updates!
Last updated October 27th.
- Micro USB Cable
- TinyZero (no accelerometer)
- Servo with JST-SH connectors
- Servo TinyShield
- 1000mAh battery
- Project Box Enclosure
- Arduino IDE
- Servo Snake Program
- Twisty-ties or zip ties - something to fasten a Servo horn to the snake
- Lots of snakes! - you can make them, or buy them
- The costume was inspired by Luciano Garbati's Medusa statue that was recently revitalized in the public eye for the rethought myth where Medusa beheads Perseus instead. Read more on the impact of the piece of art.
- The moving servo-powered snakes were inspired by Dave Spencer's YouTube video tracking the building of a Medusa headdress with moving snakes. (Although, I had a much lazier approach)
Assembly & Hardware
There are a few logistical problems to consider when making a headdress with moving electronics.
1. The servo horn must be attached to the snake
2. The servo motor case itself must be fastened to something stable so that the snake head moves rather than the servo itself
3. Powering electronics in a non-distracting way while balancing them on a human head
The first problem can be solved with twisty ties that match the snake, or zip ties. I found glue to be unreliable due to the rubber material of the fake snakes.
The electronics are harder to hide amongst snakes individually. Using a project box, I drilled a hole for the servo to be connected to the electronics, while hiding away the bulky battery in a compact black box that can be tucked under a pile of snakes.
Since the servo wire is yellow, brown, and red - I decided to take a long piece of black heathshrink to cover the wire in order to keep it hidden amongst all of the other snakes.
Once more of the snake headdress is completed, the software will be finalized!
Check back for updates!
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