Archive for November, 2009

Arduino + LEDs + Ultrasonic Sensor + Pumpkin = Dude-o-lantern

A while back my lovely wife got me this Big Lebowski keychain.  I’m not sure why but when I started thinking about what kind of pumpkin to carve this year the keychain popped into my mind.  I took it apart to see how easy it would be to mod and I was pleased to see its internals were quite simple.


I had picked up a PING))) ultrasonic sensor recently so I wired up the Lebowski chip and the PING))) to my recently constructed Boarduino to get a motion detecting Dude with 6 sayings.


I figured if I was going to use this for a jack-o-latern I needed a visual component so I wired up four RGB LEDs and diffused them with a pingpong ball (the soldering for this nearly killed me).  Initially I was going to figure out how long each sound clip played so I could do a visual display that would coordinate with the audio but then I realized I could just use one of the analog i/o pins on the Arduino to trigger the lights when the sounds were playing.  This created a nice visual effect that went well with the audio.

Here’s what happened.


  • Ah that special feeling when a single plot is so elegant and concise that you can delete three other plots and about 1,000 words. 3 weeks ago
  • I can tell that my analysis just completed because my CPU fan finally ceased its high-pitched whine. That is surprisingly satisfying. 4 weeks ago
  • @mpbtownsend cool cool. I'll send something soon 1 month ago
  • @mpbtownsend either way I'm happy to share my AERA paper with you once I write it hahaha. I'd love to get your feedback! 1 month ago
  • @mpbtownsend will you be at AERA this year? I'll be presenting much of the same material 1 month ago