I have always been very interested in making costumes. Making costumes allows the wearer to become something else for a while. This feeling can be heightened by costumes that not only make you look like the character you are trying to embody, but feel like them too. Many costume elements, such as masks, only allow the wearer to “appear” a certain way, and don’t convey the feeling to the wearer.
I have a fascination with making wings. I have made, in the past, several iterations of wings, however none of them have ever been moving. These wings are designed to integrate into your body, while still allowing you to feel them as an extension. The wings are activated by a flex sensor on the elbow. This links the elbow motion to the wingspan. The movements are directly correlated, it is not binary. This allows the user to really feel as though they have full control. The back panel spreads out the weight of the wings across the users’ back, so they do not feel weighed down. Acrylic is a light material, so the wings do not weigh very much. A crank shaft is used to allow the motors to lift the wings fluidly. Nothing is attached firmly, for a more natural feeling movement. The original prototype was created in cardboard. The final was created in Acrylic, with heat-bent flaps to give it shape. The plastic is held together by acrylic solvent and metallic rivets to allow it to spin.