On Lasercutters and building Lightsaber Prototype II

I’m currently building light sabers (and robot armies and image processing frameworks and visualization libraries, and..), and right now, I’m working at prototype IIb.

Prototype I used tape to connect a Nunchuk and toy sword, and wire to go to an Arduino that is connected to the PC with wires.

sword1

Lightsaber prototype II is based on a really cheap thing from Amazon. It will get a laser-cut case for a standalone Arduino Uno that talks to a Nunchuk (a 17€-movement sensor from Wii) via Serial Interface and to a IR helicopter. It has a battery case.

sword2

I’m currently writing down very detailed instructions on how to do this, and will post a series on this. Link one is here already. Meanwhile, I’m also working on Prototype III.

Prototype III will change to two Arduino Nanos (or a Raspberry Pi, I’m not so sure), include an XBee shield for wireless communication with the PC (Bluetooth seems to be a good bet, because I want to use the 2.4Ghz for a robot swarm someday), and two Nunchuks and touch sensors. Any IR communication will be done with the PC. I’m thinking about using a laptop battery – lasts forever, is relatively stable as a voltage supply), nice to charge, and fits into a sword. (But then, I’ll have to protect that battery. Don’t want an exploding sword.. although… the ideas I have 😉 )

I recently gained access to a laser cutter via the fablab in Munich.

Regular light saber designs are a bit unrealistic right now (but I’ll be moving to SMD, which will make things smaller and more comparable to the real technology), so I allow myself to be inspired by fantasy swords.

I am using plexiglass, and wood. I engraved this plexiglass panel with my logo. I then used some regular LEDs, and backlit the panel – like in this project.

leds

I will include holes for just fixing the two plates together, and will be filling them with sugru.

Yeah, that’s my final update for today.

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