Digilent Halloween Projects: Blast from the Past

The Digilent office is filled with eccentric people that love creating projects. So, as you can probably imagine, things can get a little spooky around Halloween. This post will take you through some of the Halloween projects our office has created over the years.

Halloween Box Monster

The first project was completed by James 3 years ago. He wanted to make a cool Halloween prop using Digilents products and he more than succeeded. In his blog post about the project he says

After grabbing a chipKIT uC32, a couple of shift registers, a bunch of LEDs, breadboard jumper wires, and a PmodMAXSONAR, I was able to make a distance detecting Halloween Box Monster.

This project sparked the imagination of several other Digilent employees and lead to the creation of the next project a year later.

DIY Monster Book of Monsters

In this project, Quinn channeled her love for Harry Potter into converting the previous Halloween box monster into the Moster Book of Monsters. In Quinns blog post about her project she says

While googly eyes were a must, other design concepts came from thinking outside the box (pun intended) using unusual supplies like yarn and craft paper to conjure up the desired monster appearance. To give our box monster some added personality, we wired the inside of our box to mimic the biting motion as seen in the Harry Potter films.

Check out her Instructable here, describing how to create the monster box exterior, and the second Instructable here, detailing the mechanics of our moving monster.

Creepy Animatronic Doll

In the middle of Development, getting all of the pieces to work together.

This was Martha’s entry for the Digilent’s Halloween contest. It was her first time programming in MPIDE or doing something of this nature with microcontrollers. A PIR sensor activates a servo attached to the doll’s head, a digital voice recording module with a creepy audio clip, and some LEDs for the eyes. It’s running on the chipKIT Max32.  Below are some different youtube vids displaying the doll!

Possessed Fridge


This was actually my prank from last year, I set it up in our break room. I used copper tape to create a circuit on the inside of the refrigerator door; when the fridge is opened the circuit is broken and a loud scream comes from a wireless speaker hidden on top of the fridge. A BeagleBone Black on top of the fridge is running a LabVIEW VI that communicates over WiFi with a VI running on my computer. When the fridge door is opened the BeagleBone Black’s VI (front panel shown on the left below) sends a signal to a VI running on the computer (front panel shown on the right below) which then plays a sound from a WAV file. The sound I used is called “ Woman Scream” (credit to “MaderaDelEste Films”).

The Walking Zybo

This masterpiece, the Zombie Containment Unit, was created by Glen Akins and is a Halloween project you will definitely want on your holiday to-do list. In the video below, Akins begins by demonstrating the project’s end result with an interactive button that prompts the Zombie Containment Unit to cycle through various visual and mechanical processes. The project is then broken down into the stages of development as Akins reviews everything from the construction of the Containment Unit, through the hardware programming and choice of products used.

Thank you for reading my blog post. If you want to recreate one of these projects or you have a project idea of your, own I highly recommend heading to the Digilent Store. There you will find everything you need to start your project and if you get stuck you can always post on the Digilent Forum to get help. Please comment below with any questions or comments you may have.

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