Can I use the Arduino for this, and is it feasible for me?

So I wanna use it to make Samus's arm cannon (see picture) with lights and sound, styled after the first Metroid Prime. I only want the Power Beam, though; I don't think I could handle too much more. What I've done so far is had one 3D-printed. It's about 16.5" long and 8" wide at its widest point. It's in three separate pieces, and links together with a locking mechanism. These pictures aren't the best but they get the job done, I think. http://imgur.com/a/x4k9R

What this means is that I want the Arduino to interact with a button that would activate both lights and sound. If pressed, a sound would play and the lights would burst and fade quickly. If held, the lights would grow and a charge-up sound would play. Releasing the button would cause the lights to burst and a different sound to play. If I can get all that I'm considering adding in vibration too.

Now, my question is, can an Arduino product do all this? I'm assuming yes, which leads to the more important question: If I have little to no knowledge of electronics, am I capable of doing this? I don't really know where to start.

Any help would be appreciated. Forgive the mass of text, but I'm kind of lost at the moment.

You are gonna want to find a really good sound amplifier and speaker. The problem I have with most such props is the tinny, weak sound effects. An MP3 player (controlled by our favorite processor of course) will be fine playing the sound. And LEDs ... use a lot of 'em to get the flash effect.

You should be able to easily handle this once you've learned a few basics. I suggest you look for a tutorial series and get a starter kit and start playing/learning.

Here is a similar project also done by a newbie to give you some inspiration

And remember, the sound you hear in the movies and video games is NOT made by what you see. The sound is added later in the production.

Paul

It's totally feasible. However, the you will need to work to fit all the parts inside the thing. You'll need a good speaker and tons of LEDS. Do you want the light to be varied across the whole length or just have the whole length grow and fade simultaneously?

Get a starter kit, learn some LED and switch basics, write some code, test it before putting it into the thing, debug, test, then finalize.

Good luck!

EDIT; Pauls right. Don't expect the sound to be perfect.

Thanks for the replies and encouragement, everyone. Any starter kits in particular that would fit for this (preparing for it, anyway), or are they all kind of similar? I'd like the LEDs to be more or less constant, so it's more like one big light than several smaller ones. If I can't figure out how to fit everything in there, I'll just have to settle with less. The price I pay for starting with the print and dealing with the technical details last.

Nyphus: Thanks for the replies and encouragement, everyone. Any starter kits in particular that would fit for this (preparing for it, anyway), or are they all kind of similar? I'd like the LEDs to be more or less constant, so it's more like one big light than several smaller ones. If I can't figure out how to fit everything in there, I'll just have to settle with less. The price I pay for starting with the print and dealing with the technical details last.

get the list of parts on a starter kit. check off the ones you know you want. check off the ones you know you do not want.

if you find that fully half are ones you do not want, then don't buy that kit.

if time is not pressing, then spend an hour on e-bay and 'add to cart', all the bits you know you want. I would offer that some 2n7000 FET's would come in handy as would a more heavy duty FET like an IRL540.

the FET has a much lower ON resistance than a transistor, so are much better four use with batteries. make sure there is an L in the name, that is for low voltage signaling.

as a note, most LED's can take a 5x current pulse for 1/10 duty cycle or some such, check out the data sheets. this means some cool flashing.

Check out the kits at www.yourduino.com, Terry King here in the forum sells & supports them.

At the risk of sounding like a complete idiot, I don't exactly know what several parts in the various kits are or what they do. I don't want to spend between fifty and sixty bucks on a kit and then find out that it won't help teach me the things I'm looking for (though it seems most have LEDs). This one looks maybe good, but I'm well out of my zone here. http://yourduino.com/sunshop2/index.php?l=product_detail&p=480

Nyphus: At the risk of sounding like a complete idiot, I don't exactly know what several parts in the various kits are or what they do. I don't want to spend between fifty and sixty bucks on a kit and then find out that it won't help teach me the things I'm looking for (though it seems most have LEDs). This one looks maybe good, but I'm well out of my zone here. http://yourduino.com/sunshop2/index.php?l=product_detail&p=480

Well, ask yourself this. Is this the only project you will ever make with Arduino? If your answer is no, Kits will be very useful. Parts/wiring is just one thing. Learning concepts and ideas in code is something else, and not all commands and stuff are specific to certain parts. I think getting a starter kit would be useful as you will get a better understanding of Arduino in general. Then, when it's time for your project, things that you research for that project won't sound as bizarre or foreign to you because you've seen/wrote code already.

This is true. As of right now, this is all I'm planning to use Arduino for, but maybe sometime in the future I'll try out more stuff. You're saying pretty much any kit will lead me to the knowledge I seek?

Nyphus: This is true. As of right now, this is all I'm planning to use Arduino for, but maybe sometime in the future I'll try out more stuff. You're saying pretty much any kit will lead me to the knowledge I seek?

You must voluntarily and actively seek the knowledge you seek. A starter kit will get you well on the way, but inevitably you'll need to buy parts you want for more advanced projects.

tyler_newcomb: You must voluntarily and actively seek the knowledge you seek. A starter kit will get you well on the way, but inevitably you'll need to buy parts you want for more advanced projects.

My experience with an EBAY purchased kit makes me recommend you don't buy one there. I had to really search for the associated software and then there were sample programs that could never have worked. Some I was able to repair and get to work, others no. Several of the electronic components were not what they were supposed to be. Common anode vs.common cathode, etc.

However, in the long run there were enough varied components that did work, to make the purchase worthwhile.

Your experience may be different.

Paul

Thank you for your help. I've bought a starter kit, and if I have any further questions I'll ask them here.