So, I have some friends who do some wonderful work in event production, stage creation, and all sorts. I recently got involved in some engineering work for them for a local, one-day event in my home town, which involved some giant, rotating MDF cogs as part of a stage facade. The next possible event is for a festival where they have been asked to create a zombie-themed area that has crowd participation.

Now, zombies are fun, but zombies that spurt blood from wounds add a little touch of realism that is sure to go a long way! I’m going to explore some ways of making this happen…

So I want to construct a system that allows the wearer to carry a reservoir of fake blood, that can be pumped around to various prosthetic wounds. It’d be really nice to explore ways of simulating a pulse, so I’m going to look at different control methods for the pumps motor.

A selection of electric motor pumps

The pumps shown above are capable of running off a 3.6V Li-Ion cell, with more than enough force to squirt a fake blood mix through some tubing. Running flat out, these pumps would make short work of any reasonable sized reservoir, so I want to be able to switch the motor off and on, probably with a uC, so that I can pulse the motor in sequences that allow the blood flow to resemble a heartbeat / pulse. My normal choice of uC (ATMEGA328) is overkill in terms of I/O for this application, so this would be a good time to investigate the use of an ATtiny series chip.

To Do List

  • Install ATTiny Arduino cores.
  • Design small pump driver PCB using ATTiny and a FET and Li-Ion charger (Probably MAX1555).

Updates to follow…