The Look of Disapproval (made using the unicode character for the letter "tha" in the Indian language of Kannada and an underscore) is possibly my favourite emoticon-come-meme going. It even rivals the popularity of the more violent Table Flip meme. If you also happen to like using the scathing glare around the web, how about bringing it to life with some LEDs?
Instrucatables member "Djandco" built the Arduino Mad Eyes project as a way of making his son's bike hemlet a little more interesting. Unfortunately, he is yet to find a helmet which will both fit his modification and also remain practical, but succeded in making the LED eyes blink, look around and of course, glare, in a loop sequence.
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The mod works using a MAX7219 chip and Arduino Uno ATmega328 board, which control the two 8x8 LED matrixes making up the eyes. Each matrix is wired up the the MAX2719 chip--expect a lot of cables though, as each row of lights will need connecting to the chip. With a bit of coding, the Arduino will then instruct the MAX chip to display the different states of your mad eyes.
While this project may seem pretty basic, this would be ideal to copy if you are learning how to command LED matrixes to do more than one task. What's more, Djandco also offers you plenty of help on his list of instructions, even offering you the code needed to get the correct rows on the matrix blinking.
This mod may be for one man's helmet, but think of the other places you could apply the look to tell those around you that you're not amused. A bedroom door as a geeky "do not disturb" sign perhaps, or with added sensors, placed near the sink to glare until someone washes the dishes?
For a list of what you will need and an explanation on code layout, check out Djandco's Instrucable for the Mad Eyes project.
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This story, "Arduino and LEDs help you give everyone the Look of Disapproval" was originally published by PCWorld.