Graduation season is now underway across America, and Western Carolina University student Michael King wanted to be sure he’d stand out from the crowd during his commencement ceremony. So being a computer science and electrical engineering major and all, naturally he decided to do some tinkering. He equipped his mortarboard with a 32×32 LED array, an Arduino Mega, three SPDT switches, a 2000mAh li-ion battery, and lots of wire, along with plenty of code. This enabled him to display a running Super Mario, Pac-Man, his school’s logo, a “Hire Me Google” message, and several other animated images on top of his cap.
I used three SPDT switches — one for LED grid power, one for Arduino power, and another to break out of the loop and display a static “WCU” logo. LED grid is powered via a 3.7V li-ion battery. 9V battery to power the Arduino Mega.
Lots and lots of Arduino code. I could convert bitmaps to arrays to use in the code. For those that would understand, I had a script written in Processing that could read a 32×32 pixel image, parse and convert it into an array of hex values, and literally format/write it out to a header file that I could just copy and paste into Arduino IDE… And yes, I am working on programming pong. Yes the actual, playable game.