Recreate Optimus Prime’s blaster with Arduino
YouTuber Bob Clagett has dreamed of creating his own life-sized Optimus Prime ion blaster for years, and now after hours of 3D printing and finishing, he finally has something worthy of that universe.
While he opted to construct it in a 1:2 scale, it’s still an impressive physical build, looking comically large, but not entirely unwieldy as a full-sized 8-foot blaster would have been.
Inside, sound and lighting effects are controlled by an Arduino, which plays clips from the show and flashes in different patterns via an Adafruit sound board and RGB LED strip.
I wanted the blaster to play sounds and have lights come out of the barrel so I rigged up an Arduino Nano with an Adafruit sound board and amp that would cycle blaster sounds and lights when a button was pressed. And because there’s always more than meets the eye, I had a separate button that played just Transformers sound clips. To defuse the LED strip when the lights fired, I printed a semi-translucent disc that would stand-off from the sides so that sound could still escape, but the light would be diffused. I decided to mount all of the audio components in the barrel so that the cannon could be taken apart to charge the battery back.
You can see the entire process in the video below, or check out his post for a summary.