How-To: Romance Pants

romance pants instructables

For the past couple of years, Red Bull has been hosting the Red Bull Creation contest, a 72-hour themed innovation competition pitting teams of makers against each other in a live-build format. Last year, a number of the competing teams showed their projects at Maker Faire New York. One entry in particular never fails to give me a chuckle. Brought to you by Team Instructables is the hilariously clever Romance Pants project.

Competing teams were sent the custom Bullduino, Red Bull-branded Arduino microcontroller. Team Instructables used the Bullduino as the belt buckle, hooked up to a modded wireless shield, then fashioned a zipper potentiometer and a waist button switch, as shown in their diagram below. Combine that with some hacked electric ignition candles (that use a combination of nichrome wire and shaved match head dust to rapidly ignite when hooked up to power), a stereo remote hack, a custom six-outlet main controller, and some sexy programming, and magic happens. The zipper being pulled down triggers the room lights dimming and the stereo volume going up. When the waist button is undone, the candles automatically light. Pretty much, showtime.

The video will have you rolling:
[vimeo w=620&h=349]

This year’s Red Bull Creation contest will launch on April 8th. Check back here, as we’ll have full details on that day.

I'm a word nerd who loves to geek out on how emerging technology affects the lexicon. I was an editor on the first 40 volumes of MAKE, and I love shining light on the incredible makers in our community. In particular, covering art is my passion — after all, art is the first thing most of us ever made. When not fawning over perfect word choices, I can be found on the nearest mountain, looking for untouched powder fields and ideal alpine lakes.

Contact me at or via @snowgoli.

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