Tag Archives: Daft Punk

Watch a LEGO band cover Daft Punk’s ‘Da Funk’

Billed as “the world’s first robotic LEGO band,” each member of Toa Mata is made of Bionicle pieces and powered by Arduino.

Last year at this time, Italian sound artist Giuseppe Acito caught our attention with his innovative take on Depeche Mode’s anthemic 1983 single “Everything Counts.” What made it so different, you ask? The rearranged tune wasn’t performed by him, but instead by his entirely LEGO-based, ATmega328 powered band that he calls Toa Mata.


Billed as the world’s first LEGO robotic group, the Toa Mata Band is controlled by Arduino Uno hooked up to a MIDI sequencer. For his latest project, Acito wired the Bionicle bunch to several servos, each driven by the Arduino.


With a little programming via MIDI, the band was able to play Daft Punk’s hit song “Da Funk” using a range of instruments and synthesizers including Fender Jazz Bass, Ableton Push/Live, Coron Drum, Korg DS10 synth, Finger BassLine, Boss HC-2, Moog Animoog, and a Nintendo DS.

Pretty cool, right? Watch Acito’s Toa Mata Band recreate Daft Punk’s legendary track below! Meanwhile, you can browse some of his other work here.

3D print your own Daft Punk helmet

Just last year, Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky’ shot to the top of the charts and launched the mysterious duo back into the center of popular culture. Shorty thereafter, we began to see the emergence of several Daft Punk-inspired, Atmel powered projects ranging from animatronic cakes to slick Tron bars. Today, we’re showing off yet another… okay, just ‘One More Time.’ Adafruit recently created quite the dazzling cosplay outfit influenced by the techno giants mixes two of our favorite things — wearable technology and 3D printing.


Whenever the Daft Punk duo rocks the stage, there is something undoubtedly cool about them. Whether it is their thumping beats, or scintillating laser shows, fans have been enthralled for over two decades. The group’s one standout characteristic has always been their signature flashing helmets. The iconic headwear has become synonymous with classic dance music, and now you can have your very own!

The Ruiz Brothers over at Adafruit have put together a complete step-by-step guide on how to craft a customized Daft Punk lid, including everything from the 3D printing schematics to the required coding.

After a three-day 3D printing session using a semi-transparent PLA filament, the builders had their helmet base. To power the front facing light show, they incorporated the GEMMA and Trinket wearable platform boards — both built around the Atmel ATtiny85 — to serve as the brains of the operation. NeoPixel strips (144 pixel per meter) were laid inside the hollowed out shell, whose translucent material allowed for colorful LEDs can light up just about any room. “This makes the headset great for Maker Faire, household parties, and underground EDM raves,” the folks at Hackaday suggest.

Once installing the LED strips to their liking and programming them to hypnotize onlookers, the helmet was ready to ‘Get Lucky’ and jam! Be careful though, visibility is limited behind those blinding lights!

If you recall, last year the Wall Street Journal reported on the countless amount of people who devised perfect replicas of the helmets worn by the band and sold them for thousands of dollars. Now, thanks to our friends at Adafruit, with just a few microcontrollers, LEDs and a 3D printer, you can make a fully-functional version of one of the designs without breaking the bank. Don’t be daft, go check out the project’s entire breakdown here!

Atmel goes cyberpunk with Adafruit

Cyberpunk novels and films are typically 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 aptly noted in Burning Chrome, “the street finds its own uses for things.”

Recently, the AdaFruit crew designed a pair of goggles for cyberpunks, steampunks and yes, Daft Punks. Officially dubbed “Kaleidoscope Eyes,” key components for the headware include NeoPixel rings, an Atmel-powered (ATtiny85Trinket (or Atmel-powered Gemma) and a battery (lithium-polymer or 3x AA battery case). Heat-shrink tubing is recommended for insulating the wire connections, as is diffuser lenses for the goggles which help soften the light from LEDs. The latter can simply be cut from paper or fashioned with white acrylic.

“This is a soldering project, albeit a small one. You will need the common soldering paraphernalia of a soldering iron, solder, wire (20 to 26 gauge, either stranded or solid) and tools for cutting and stripping wire,” AdaFruit’s Phillip Burgess explained in a detailed tutorial on the subject.

“You’ll need some method of securing the electronics inside the goggles. Hot-melt glue (with a glue gun) works well for this. Watch your fingers! Tape could be used for a quick and temporary setup. Some steps require perseverance. You will need to provide your own; we do not sell patience in the shop.”

Burgess also confirmed that Makers can swap an Atmel-powered Gemma for the Atmel-powered Trinket.

“You won’t need the extra JST cable for the LiPo battery — Gemma has that plug built-in,” he said. “[Remember], the board is a bit wider and might be more challenging to fit, but one option is to show it off rather than conceal it, mounting the board on the outside of the goggles near one temple. Geek pride!”

Interested in learning more about building “Kaleidoscope Eyes” with Adafruit and Atmel? You can check out Adafruit’s detailed tutorial here, although Burgess warns the project is quite challenging.

“Small parts are used in confined spaces, and special tools and techniques are used. While not overtly dangerous, there’s still some potential for damage or injury,” he added. [So be sure to] read through everything first to decide if you really want to tackle this. Young makers should read through with a parent to help decide – [and] we [certainly do] have other wearable electronics projects that are less daunting.”

The Arduino-Daft Punk-cake connection

This isn’t the first time Bits & Pieces has run an article about Arduino and Daft Punk.

However, this time around there is a rather interesting twist to our story, namely, a massive tribute cake painstakingly baked to honor the talented French band.

Yes, Shantal Der Boghosian is the owner and cake decorator of Shakar Bakery, although she is also an engineer and a chemist based in Los Angeles California. Recently, Der Boghosian wrote to the folks at the official Arduino blog, informing them of her 5ft (152cm) tall tribute cake for electronic music duo Daft Punk which she created together with her sister and Garen (coder).

The coolest thing about this project? The “bodies” of the band are made of cake, with their heads programmed via an Arduino Mega to move at the rhythm of the track “Get Lucky.” All of the above apparently took a grand total of two months to design, over 100 hours to build the structure and another 100 hours spent on the electronics, programming and mechanics.

“We had a lot of bumps in the road and we worked through every single one. This was the first time I ever built a cake structure, the first time I sculpted with rice krispies, and the first time I built a cake on such a massive scale!” Der Boghosian told the Arduino blog.

“This was Garen’s first time coding an Arduino servo, and creating head motions that defied weight restraints! I have to admit that we did a last minute surgery to the silver helmet to make the ‘no’ motion more fluid.”

Additional info about the Arduino-powered Daft Punk cake can be found here.

This slick Tron bar is powered by an Arduino Mega

Say what you will about Tron Legacy, but the movie did boast some pretty slick special effects along with Daft Punk’s rather memorable soundtrack.

So yes, I think we all can agree that the Grid is a pretty chill place, at least as far as virtual reality goes. Of course I’m not sure I’d want to live there like Kevin Flynn, but I’d certainly like to check out the local vibe along with some bars and clubs.

Unfortunately, the Grid, much like Neal Stephenson’s stellar vision of the Metaverse in Snow Crash is probably light years away. But that didn’t stop Alexander Givens and his friend from designing a Tron-style bar that wouldn’t be out of place at the End of Line Club manned by Shaddix the bartender.

According to the folks at Hack A Day, the rather impressive looking bar – which is powered by an Arduino Mega (ATmega1280) and EL shield – began its life as a half bookcase mounted on the wall.

“Givens and his roommate decided to augment its usefulness as a liquor cabinet by building a bar around it. But why stop there? LED Strips and 120 feet of electroluminescent wire give the bar its inner glow,” writes Mike Szczys of Hack A Day.

“The video showing off its synchronization with the music brings it to the next level. The flashing lights and EL wire put on a quite a show that may make the bartenders feel like they’ve already had a few too many.”

The Tron-style bar is controlled by a rudimentary interface located just under the inside lip of the bar. Pretty impressive, eh? Oh, and yes, more pictures are available here.