Fe McBride – Multimessenger Astrophysicist

Galaxy shoes


Due to unfortunate reasons (illness) I have spent more time at home than I would prefer. But this has allowed to me to finish working on my space – themed galaxy shoes, now with LEDs!


Here’s what the shoes looked like after painting in 2015.
Here’s what it looks like with LEDs.


The LEDs are pressure activated, a pressure resistant material in the heels decreases the resistance when stepping, triggering the LED sequence.


A shout out to Anne Archibald for help with the code and for introducing me to Adafruit and the dutch seller of adafruit Kiwi electronics. I have used adafruit’s Gemma 2 to power these LEDs, as well as their velostat.


That’s it for today, folks!

Some extra information for those of you who are interested is below.


Things I still plan to do:

  • better twinkle pattern for the stars
  • refresh paint
  • make the shoes slightly more comfortable to wear.

At the moment the microcontroller and the 3.7 V battery are hidden inside the shoe:

One of the test of the circuits. In the current version wires are soldered to the controller, which then connect to the conducive thread, which can be seen running around the inside of the shoe.


A few extra pictures:

First LED testing with conducive thread, with an unimpressed cat in background

Original space images that this was based on:

1.) Centaurus A composite X-ray, infrared and optical image:

© Image credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO; Optical: Rolf Olsen; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech


2.) N 90 nebula on inside of shoe

© ESA/Hubble

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