The Halo 3-Arduino connection

Adafruit forum member JoshuaKane and fellow Maker Sean Bradley have designed an impressive Halo 3 Orbital Drop Shock Trooper (ODST) costume, complete with an energy sword.

“I wanted to make the sword something that would literally make folks stop in their tracks and take notice at a convention. [So] I turned to the [ATmega32u4-powered] Arduino Micro and some accessories developed at Adafruit,” JoshuaKane explained in a recent forum post.

“The full idea is to give the impression of a pulsing energy sword. The perfect item to light this sword are the NeoPixel strips (60 LEDs per meter). The complete package is a sword that would light up when you turned it on, and play a sound indicating that it was switched on. Think Star Wars light saber.”

Additional components used in the Halo 3 energy sword project? The ADXL345 (3-axis accelerometer) which is tasked with detecting motion and trigger a sound event via the VS1053 (MP3 decoder) breakout board. There are also 2x liPo 2600mAh batteries hooked in parallel through a UBEC, generating a constant, clean 5v for the LEDs and controller.

As previously discussed on Bits & Pieces, the Arduino Micro is a microcontroller board based on Atmel’s ATmega32u4. Developed by Arduino and Adafruit, the board boasts 20 digital input/output pins (of which 7 can be used as PWM outputs and 12 as analog inputs), a 16 MHzcrystal oscillator, a micro USB connection, an ICSP header and  reset button. The board contains everything needed to support the microcontroller – simply connect it to a computer with a micro USB cable to get started. It also offers a form factor that enables it to be easily placed on a breadboard.

It should be noted that the Micro is similar to the Arduino Leonardo as the ATmega32u4 offers built-in USB communication, eliminating the need for a secondary processor. This allows the Micro to appear to a connected computer as a mouse and keyboard, in addition to a virtual (CDC) serial / COM port.

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