Tag Archives: Burning Chrome

Video: Mel Li talks robotic exoskeletons

Cyberpunk films and novels are often set in post-industrial dystopias characterized by extraordinary cultural ferment and the use of technology in ways never anticipated by its original creators.

As William Gibson noted in Burning Chrome, “the street finds its own uses for things.” Although Gibson wrote those words way back in 1981, they more than aptly describe the cyberpunk build designed by Maker Mel Li, Ph.D that was showcased at Atmel’s 2014 Bay Area Maker Faire booth.

According to Mel, the Costume is an original design inspired by the cyberpunk/fantasy genre work of artists including Masumune Shirow, Eric Canete, Joe Benitez and various modern gaming concept art.

More specifically, the assembly is made from over 60 parts designed in Solidworks and sewn/cut/glued/laser-cut/heat-formed using various techniques.

The rather impressive costume includes color changing LEDs on the spine and front that are controlled by Arduino boards with Atmel AVR and ARM microcontrollers and onboard RGB controllers (respectively) – powered by 16 AA batteries, 1 LiPo rechargeable battery, two 2032 coin cells and one 9-volt battery.

In total, says Mel, there are more than 70 LEDs on the entire costume and over 60 parts.

A cosplay cyberpunk build

Cyberpunk films and novels are often set in post-industrial dystopias characterized by extraordinary cultural ferment and the use of technology in ways never anticipated by its original creators.

As William Gibson noted in Burning Chrome, “the street finds its own uses for things.” 

Although Gibson wrote those words way back in 1981, they more than aptly describe the cyberpunk build designed by the very talented mel ell, a cos-player and graduate student at Georgia Tech in Atlanta.

According to the Adafruit crew, mel ell admires the cyberpunk and fantasy genre styles of various artists in comics and games. Indeed, she used the genre art as a basis for the design of her slick outfit.

“The process was a lot of fun and took approximately three months of on-and-off planning and building. The assembly is made from over 60 parts designed in Solidworks and sewn/cut/glued/laser-cut/heat-formed using various techniques,” mel ell explained.

“The costume includes color changing LEDs on the spine and front that are controlled by an [Atmel-based] Arduino board and onboard RGB controllers. It is powered by 16 AA batteries, 1 LiPo rechargeable battery, two 2032 coin cells and one 9-volt battery. In total there’s more than 70 LEDs on the entire costume and over 60 parts.”

Impressive!