Inspired by an ‘Americas Got Talent’ group, I spent the last half of my Senior year making these Tron suits with my 3 best friends. While watching a performance by some group, I had the thought ‘you know, I probably could make those suits.’ A few hours of research later, I had a bill of materials sent to my buddies asking them if they were in.
The completed suits had 60 feet of EL wire, powered by a 12v DC battery pack connected to a DC-AC converter all contained in a very fashionable fanny pack. Each suit took approximately 10 hours to make all things included, and as I was the one who understood how the circuitry worked, I ended up leading the charge. While none of us were particularly good dancers, turns out if you slapped on a morphsuit and 60 feet of glowing lights, things seem to go pretty well.
No, the suits were not timed to the music, and yes, I know they could have been. To do so however would have required significantly more capital investment in the terms of hardware and processing power, so I instead opted for a simple switch that was stitched into the palm of our hand. As such, every switch on and off was manual. I thought dancing was hard.
The biggest things I learned from this project was how to take initiative to build, iterate, and repeat. This project gave me the confidence to start something, even if I couldn’t necessarily see how all the pieces would come together at the time. This really gave me the motivation and confidence in myself to pursue bigger projects.