Warlock costume – Staff & invisibility cloak

What I had in mind is some kind of invisibility cloak. Unfortunately it not existing yet but this is the closest thing...

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This costume is made out of two parts – staff and color changing cloak. The staff controls the cloak wirelessly and it has different features by itself – mostly lighting. Here is a short video that demonstrates most of the features of this costume:

What I like most in this project includes all the technical fields that I’m interested in. Its a multidisciplinary project that combines: electricity, software (firmware), 3D printing, mechanics and electro-optics, composite materials and much more…

I think till this day this project is my favorite because it got so much thinking, planning and “clean” implementation into it. Here is a detailed build log of it, I hope you’ll enjoy it.

A complete build log(&code) of the project is located in my blog:

The staff


Every warlock has a staff and this staff is packed with goodies – soft lights, high lights, fairy lights and cloak color and pattern control that is being done by a lot of software, electronics and wireless modules – very useful lights for the Playa’s night. The staff was built from three main parts – head, aluminum pipe and carbon fishing rod. Those type of materials are sometime hard to work with and require knowledge in composite materials. The configuration and materials were chosen because of two main feature: Aluminum and carbon are not para-magnetic and they are extremely light – this issue is going to be
explained later.
The head of the staff is Gandalf The White Staff and I download the design from and printed it – the guy did miraculous job in designing it.

I changed the original size a bit and distorted the ratio according to my needs. It looks great and fit perfectly into my staff design. A 20Watt (!!!) LED light that runs on 36V was mounted inside the head of the staff – I had to remove some of the inner part of the printed staff’s head.

20150513_11163220150513_141932The aluminum part is it mount, the head of the staff is connected to it, I used a pipe and cut it on the circumference on order to have the head of the staff integrated into the aluminum part. I used 3M screws to secure the two part together.


The rest body of the staff itself is made out of carbon fishing rod – I sanded the inner part of the the aluminum part and the exterior circumference of the carbon rod in order to have a nice solid structure. Later on I used an structural aerospace epoxy resign with Aerosol and micro-balloons to create a paste like resin that will hold the part together. 24 hour later it was hard as steel!

Later on I used mat-white 2 components spray paint in order to get the right finish. The bottom end of the staff is sealed with a wooden cap that I hand made. This wat is can be replaced easily and it used as a dumper when I walk with it.

In a “real” warlock staff the are no buttons – only magics :) so I wanted to create the same illusion – I wanted to get “smooth” look for the staff . This means no buttons – this is the reason that I used reed switches – reed switched are basically works like regular button or a micro-switch, but, with one different. You don’t have to physically touch them in order to create a “button press”. We simply need to have a strong magnet next to it and a “press” is triggered – on old hard disk naudiom magnet was my weapon of choice. I broke a piece of it, placed it inside a ring and with the help of a friend (Tal Raindel) we casted polyoritan and glow in the dark powder on top of it. The result was perfect!

This is the ring:


This is the reed switch tapped on a wooden stick with Kapton tape, I slided it into the head of the staff with all the electronics:


Here are some more picture from the construction process of the staff itself, most of it is sawing, cutting, sanding, gluing and painting:





The cloak

The cloak itself is a master piece created from scratch by Tamar Goldstain and I. We saw example of different cloaks online and figured out what’s the right pattern in order to achieve the desired illusion and effect. Tamar Goldstain is truly an amazing artist that studied in Betzalel art academy and spent several days with my in designing and sewing the cloak from scratch. I with to thank her. I don’t know how to sew well and without her this amazing project wouldn’t have finished with this result.


Back to the technical stuff.. The cloak is made from 2 fabrics – one gives the figure, shape and creamy off-white color that suits the Playa and the second one is the fiber optic fabric.


The fiber optic fabric contains lots of lots of “polluted” fiber optics. Usually the purpose of fiber optic is to transfer light from one end to another without and light losses but this time is different. In this special fabric the fibers that were used are emitting...

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  • 1
    Step 1

    Block diagram & electronics:


    The 3 reed switches were mounted vertically in the aluminum part of the staff and connected to the micro-processor – in this case an Arduino 3.3V. I used 3 sensors in order to created different function that the staff can preform. Each sequence (or combination) does one thing or not do anything at all.

    To the micro-processor there are also connected:

    1. Extra reed switch(4 in total) for future use. Probably not gonna be useful anymore, when I designed it I though I would need more switches.. than I decided to implement the sequence mechanism…
    2. Regular 5mm small RGB LED – this is a multi purpose LED. During normal operation this LED blink for 100ms every 5 seconds. This blink is a battery voltage indication. Because LiPo batteries could be damaged if going below 3V per cell I wanted to create a visable voltage indication which means: on 12.6V – 10.8V the LED blinks in green, on 10.8V – 9.6V the LED blinks in blue and below 9.6V the LED goes very fast blink in red.The second use of this LED is to give the user (aka warlock heheh) indication that a command was received after on of the reed switches was triggered. The first reed triggers the red light, the second triggers the green and the third one triggers the blue. This means for example that if my target sequence is is to light the soft staff head light is 1st reed switch and than 2nd reed when I’ll trigger the first one the LED will go from voltage indication to solid red(1st reed) and when the 2nd reed will be triggered it will go to green, the soft staff head light will toggle off or on(depending on the previous state) and the LED will go back to it voltage indication use..
    3. RF module – the cloak itself is controlled via the staff. The color can be changed, the patterns: flickering, fading in\out animations etc.. or it can be turned of completely.. go into invisible mode. The command are being transmitted to the cloak using 4 bytes. Each of three first byte contains the RGB values for the cloak and the 4th one contains the desired pattern.
    4. I used RFM12BS RF module – it works on 3.3V TTL. This is the reason I used 3.3V Arduino,
    5. Two N-MOFSETs – one controls the staff’s head light – soft or high. This N-MOFSET is connected to 12v to 36V DC-DC LED driver that controls the staff head light LED.The second one controls the fairy lights around the staff itself.


    And the whole set:


    Cloak - Block diagram


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ArsenioDev wrote 12/04/2015 at 19:41 point

This looks incredible! 

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