Trick or Netduino... Pneumatic Popup Skeleton just in time for Halloween

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Halloween is coming up. Scaring, as in safe Halloween type scaring, people is fun. C# and Netduino is fun.

Lets put all three together...

Halloween - Pneumatic Popup Skeleton

This is my first Netduino project. I built a popup skeleton and was controlling it with some old X10 stuff. You can see this phase in action in this video. But I wanted to add LED eyes and maybe some sound. So I ordered the Netduino+ a few weeks ago.

So far I have the following features working:

  1. The Netduino is setup to act as a web server. Nothing special, the single page it serves has one button that, when clicked, runs the popup cycle. I'm going to use my Android tablet on Halloween to scare people when they walk up.
  2. The popup cycle follows these steps
    1. A. Signal the external relay board using digital I/O #2 for 2 seconds. The external relay board sends 24vac to the automatic sprinkler valve. The sprinkler value allows air to flow from a compressor into a modified screen-door closer.
    2. B. Flash the LED eyes using digital I/O #0 and #1 for 8 seconds.
    3. C. I plan on adding lights that will shine on the skeleton and some sort of audio laugh-track.
  3. Every minute, when the popup cycle isn't running, the LED eyes flash in a few different patterns.

In this video you can see the flashing eyes.




And a little code snip;

private static void PopupSkeletonThreadFunction()
      DateTime beginTime = DateTime.Now;
      DateTime endAirActionTime = DateTime.Now;
      DateTime endTime = DateTime.Now;
      while (true)
          if (m_BeginPopupSkeletonCycle)
              m_PopupCycleRunning = true;
              m_BeginPopupSkeletonCycle = false;
              beginTime = DateTime.Now;
              endTime = beginTime.AddSeconds(8);
              endAirActionTime = beginTime.AddSeconds(2);

          if (DateTime.Now <= endTime)

              if (DateTime.Now >= endAirActionTime)
              m_PopupCycleRunning = false;

If you're looking for that fun Halloween project... (or maybe this will get you thinking, like it has me. What if we mixed in some Kinect for Windows SDK into a project like this... hum...)


Here’s a few more links you might find interesting:

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