Home > News

This lights show on a Gundam model is brought to life using a Raspberry Pi Pico

Last Updated on April 12, 2024
3d illustration of a Raspberry Pi Gundam robot standing next to a raspberry pi logo against a blue and purple gradient background.
PC Guide is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read More
You can trust PC Guide: Our team of experts use a combination of independent consumer research, in-depth testing where appropriate - which will be flagged as such, and market analysis when recommending products, software and services. Find out how we test here.

Is there a crossover as perfect as mecha with tech enthusiasts? Not that we can think of. That’s exactly why this Gundam model, which is able to produce a stunning lights show is so impressive. It’s made possible by none other than a reliable Raspberry Pi Pico.

The Gundam model, made by an enthusiast named Rob, which he calls the Gundam Cyberdeck does more than simply light up. By using 16 LEDs that are controlled by the Raspberry Pi Pico, he’s able to create a light show on the tiny model that’s incredibly impressive. The Gundam Cyberdeck can have up to ten programmable sequences. Each sequence is able to have its individual LED brightness and speed modified. All of this is controlled on a simple control pad. Better yet, it only uses four wires to connect to the Gundam.

A lights show built with a Raspberry Pi Pico brings this Gundam model to life

The Raspberry Pi Pico itself is connected to an AW9523 GPIO expander. The AW9523 is a great pick for this build because it doesn’t require any resisters. It has a “constant current” that allows the LED to be changed by just sending a value. This is instead of turning the LED on and off quickly. This main brain is programmed in CircuitPython.

The work comes together for a custom lights show that allows each individual LED to light up separately. Each light has different brightnesses and speeds. While there are Gundam models that light up, we’ve never seen one with such customizability before. This really brings the model to life. It’s able to light up individual parts of the Gundam like the eyes and rocket launcher separately.

Raspberry Pi projects we’ve come across are always impressive. What hobbyists are able to do with the tiny single-board computers is amazing, from making a functioning Game Boy Advance to a Raspberry Pi Wristwatch capable of giving Apple a run for its money. This is just another great creation that the community has been able to build.

Annie is a journalist focusing on the latest technology news and deals. At PC Guide, Annie covers the latest bundle deals and news from the world of tech, with a particular focus on GPU and CPU news.