I used the psychedelic aesthetic for my upcycle project, and I am interested in exploring it further. I am planning to go to a music festival this summer that uses a similar theme, and I am planning to create a piece to bring with me.
There is an artifact known as a Totem that many people brings to music festivals. A totem is generally an art piece that is fastened to the top of a long pole, that is carried around at festivals. Totems have the added function of helping groups of people stay together among the many thousands of other festival-goers as they move between stages.
Here are a few examples:
I enjoy watching a TV show known as “Rick and Morty.” One of the main characters, Rick, is a mad genius who takes his grandson, Morty, with him on adventures across universes, dimensions, and even time. I am planning to make a totem with a plushie Rick at the top that is decorated in LEDs. In the final version I plan to make the LEDs on Rick respond dynamically to sound, however, I am not sure that I will have enough time to complete that portion of the project by its due date.
Below is an image of a scene from “Rick and Morty”:
I began by searching online for Rick plushies. While I found various “Rick and Morty” characters, including a Rick head plushie, on a website, Etsy, I could not find an artifact for my totem that I considered suitable. I am currently working on creating my own.
Below is an image of the head, torso, arms, and legs pieces that I have created so far:
The entire Rick plushie from head to toe is a little under 3 ft. I am planning to use two 16-LED neopixel rings that I am going to mount in some glasses for Rick. I am also planning to use around 150 other LEDs, taken from an addressable LED strip, fastened all around his body and clothing. Since the festival is around 12 hours long overnight, I am planning optimize Rick’s electronics to be able to function on battery power for that amount of time.
I have also begun prototyping where to place LED strips on Rick, and below is one example layout:
Festivals, that allow festival-goers to bring totems, outline a number of technical constraints, and additionally, because of the function and aesthetic I am attempting to achieve, I have outlined several constraints in these areas for the totem as well.
Technical Design Constraints
Some of the relevant totem guidelines that the festival outlines are listed below:
- Maximum height can be 10 feet
- Totems must be made from a lightweight material (e.g., foam, PVC / no solid metal)
- PVC, light wood or aluminum poles must be no thicker than 1 inch in diameter.
Aesthetic Design Constraints
- The totem is attempting to fit within the psychedelic theme, and within the style and aesthetic created by the show Rick and Morty. (IMDB & Images reference)
- The totem overall needs to be decorated with vibrant colors, in order to fit within the defined aesthetics.
- From a materials standpoint, I would like to design the Rick plush figure to be squishy, and without any potentially dangerous protruding elements. Along similar lines, I am planning to contain as many electronic components as possible within Rick, and to waterproof any elements that are exposed to the exterior.
Functional Design Constraints
- The project requires powering a total of 182 LEDs, including a microcontroller and microphone driver (to allow the LEDs to be sound-responsive), and needs to be operated for approximately 12 hours at a time. This constraint mainly relates relates to power management for the light output (intensity) for the LEDs and technical complexity that can be used to animate the LEDs.
- The totem has a “dancing” functionality that is manually operated by manipulating poles attached to the figure’s hands, feet, and head. Accordingly, the plush figure needs to be built so that the arms, legs, and head can move freely without interference. Additionally, the wiring and components need to be set up to accommodate the same.
- The size of the overall totem (including the weight of all electronic components) needs to be around 5 lbs or less, and the weight needs to be appropriately balanced so that the totem is not overly top-heavy.
- All of the electronic components need to be able to be controlled by an Arduino microcontroller.
- I am aiming for the project to cost at or under $150.
I am always open to new suggestions and ideas! Please leave a comment if you have any! 🙂
Here is a video of a presentation for this project:
References (In order of appearance):
- 1st Totem Image: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjt0s3UzrTSAhUU3WMKHXvfA8gQjRwIBw&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.pinterest.com%2Fpin%2F524458319087924968%2F&bvm=bv.148441817,d.cGc&psig=AFQjCNHAwi7BS4JjZ1fA3YHLOhh-ewwwBw&ust=1488433920182711
- 2nd Totem Image: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwj5g8nwzrTSAhVBWWMKHUW5AksQjRwIBw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.notey.com%2Fblogs%2Fedm-totems&bvm=bv.148441817,d.cGc&psig=AFQjCNHAwi7BS4JjZ1fA3YHLOhh-ewwwBw&ust=1488433920182711
- 3rd Totem Image: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwj9qeOZz7TSAhUM22MKHUsNDYsQjRwIBw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thatdrop.com%2Fcategory%2Fedm-community%2Ffunny-totems%2F&bvm=bv.148441817,d.cGc&psig=AFQjCNHAwi7BS4JjZ1fA3YHLOhh-ewwwBw&ust=1488433920182711
- 4th Totem Image: https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http%3A%2F%2Fedmsauce.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2014%2F06%2FStick4.jpg&imgrefurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.edmsauce.com%2F2014%2F06%2F02%2Fshow-us-custom-made-totemsrave-sticks%2F&docid=WfzP41FgKATueM&tbnid=8WeB7rYUFrHRLM%3A&vet=1&w=480&h=694&bih=756&biw=1309&q=edm%20totems&ved=0ahUKEwi3_uTJzrTSAhUC8GMKHTUODf8QMwh6KEcwRw&iact=mrc&uact=8
- Rick and Morty Scene Image: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiL68-_0rTSAhVY8mMKHd9hCgYQjRwIBw&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.inverse.com%2Farticle%2F26880-why-is-rick-and-morty-season-3-delayed-update-premiere-date-dan-harmon-fighting-justin-roiland-adult-swim&bvm=bv.148441817,d.cGc&psig=AFQjCNGjaqGBcyHBVe5xD56AIeUNqzPvuw&ust=1488434955508762
- Rick Body Plushie Image: My Own
- Rick Body Plushie with Prototype LED Layout: My Own
- Rick and Morty IMDB page: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2861424/
- Rick and Morty Google Images page: https://www.google.com/search?q=rick+and+morty&espv=2&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj9rcvaxMfSAhXHrVQKHXfMCeoQ_AUICCgD&biw=1309&bih=756
- Design Review Video Presentation: My Own