(Quick & Easy) Micro:Bit Magic 8 Ball Costume

90s kids unite! And build this super fun, easy, and interactive costume!

Ask a (yes/no) question, shake the Micro:Bit, and it displays a fortune (obviously accurate) to your deepest most pressing questions, like what is life, how do we solve climate change, and why are pineapples so difficult to cut open. Except you’ll do a better job with phrasing your questions as yes/no ūüôā

Anyway….

Here we go!

Read Time: 7 min.

Build Time: < 30 min.

Project Cost: $15 – $20

Materials

  • Micro:Bit¬†
  • 2xAAA Battery Case
  • 2 AAA Batteries¬†(plus some extras if you plan to wear the costume for more than 3 hours)

… Seriously, that’s it!

Oh, and to make it all aesthetically pleasing and on point:

  • Cardboard¬†(like a 4″ x 4″ square)
  • Blue Paint

Step 1: Program the Micro:Bit!

Step 1: Go to www.MakeCode.org and open a new Micro:Bit project.

Step 2: Write a program to display randomly generated messages of your choosing!

Need more info? Here’s a more detailed overview ūüôā

Go to¬†Variables¬†and create a unique variable for each message you want to send (e.g.¬†msg1,¬†msg2, …msg42, etc).

Go to¬†Inputs¬†and drag out the¬†On shake¬†block. In¬†On shake, add “set item to” from¬†Variables,¬†then go to the¬†Math¬†blocks and connect the “pick random 0 to...¬†Change the random number range (i.e. the 2nd number) to reflect the total number of messages you are showing¬†(e.g. if you have 5 messages, the random number range is 0 to 4 because there are 5 possible numbers: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4).

Almost done! Add an “If – Then” from¬†Loops. In the first¬†if, set the condition to:¬†item = 0,¬†then display the first message (“show string” block w/ the variable name for your first message (e.g.¬†msg1)).¬†Recommended to repeat the message at least once ’cause scrolling letters can be hard to read!¬†Repeat the¬†if¬†statement condition for each random number and message, and viola, c’est fini! You can test the code in the simulation on the left side of the screen by clicking the¬†Play¬†button and then¬†Shake¬†(:

When you’re ready, download the code, plug in your Micro:Bit, and then drag the (.hex) file onto the Micro:Bit drive. The code is loaded when the power lights are done flashing!

Step 2: Optional Triangle Cover

Step 1: Make a cardboard triangle & paint it blue!

For most accurate imitation, go for an equilateral triangle (geometry for the win, woot woot!).

Step 2: Cut a 1 in. x 1 in. (2.5 cm x 2.5 cm) hole in the center for Micro:Bit LEDs.

Step 3: Attach Micro:Bit on back of triangle w/ glue or tape.

If using hot glue, avoid the battery and USB connector.

Step 4: Wear it & Share it, pretty bby!

Attach the Micro:Bit (& cardboard combo) to yourself or your clothes! You can use velcro, tape, or hot glue (although probably avoid using this one on your actual skin..) Or make straps w/ string, twine, fabric, etc!

Put on your favorite black outfit & you’re done! Quick & awesome & comfy Halloween costume for the winnnn ūüėÄ

Feel free to ask any questions in the comments section. If you build this or a variation, please share your creations, I’d love to see what you make!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.