It’s no secret that cosplayers have been known to use our favorite SBC, the Raspberry Pi, to take their handcrafted creations to the next level. We’ve seen everything from Pi-powered Game Boy cosplays to Raspberry Pi Galactus masks, but this is the first Pi-powered Stray cosplay. Maker and developer Dawn DuPriest uses a Raspberry Pi to animate faces for her Stray Companion cosplay and even play music on demand.
The character she’s cosplaying is known as Morusque. This character is known for playing music when you bring him sheet music. To bring her cosplay to life, convention attendees can hand her sheet music that the Pi can recognize with an RFID reader. It then plays music on a speaker built into the guitar prop that houses the rest of the electronics.
The companions in Stray are humanoid robots with screens for faces that play animations for facial expressions. For her cosplay, she wears a wireless screen that interacts with the Pi to change the faces as needed. There are buttons connected to the Pi that DuPriest can select that trigger various face animations.
The screen used for the face is an iPad Mini which can communicate wirelessly with the Pi—perfect for a cosplay that requires so much movement. Driving the operation is a Raspberry Pi 3B+ connected to an RFID reader and a series of buttons. These extra components are connected to the GPIO on the Pi using a Sparkfun Pi Wedge.
The iPad Mini is running a couple of apps enabling it to remotely access the Pi, including Pi Helper and VNC Viewer. This makes it possible to show the Pi’s desktop on the go without any cables. She also explained that the sprite sheets used to generate the face animations were created using an online app called Piskel.
Overall, this is an extremely clever cosplay. If you want to get a closer look at this Raspberry Pi project, check out the full project breakdown at Hackster and follow DuPriest for more cool creations.
Stay on the Cutting Edge
Join the experts who read Tom's Hardware for the inside track on enthusiast PC tech news — and have for over 25 years. We'll send breaking news and in-depth reviews of CPUs, GPUs, AI, maker hardware and more straight to your inbox.
Ash Hill is a Freelance News and Features Writer at Tom's Hardware US. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting.