Saturday, January 19, 2008

I think I found the helmet of my dreams: Daft Punk.

Rock Stars: no makeup and hair worries for them..
These helmets were commissioned by the Techno Houseband band Daft Punk- these helmets are custom designed stage props and cost over $14,000. While the helmets are reasonably simple in design, the cost of labor and materials make it impractical to mass produce and market them. In addition, Daft Punk owns the copyright and concept rights to the helmets.

The boys have a bit of fun with Juliette Lewis in this Commercial for the Gap
Designer/fabricator Tony Gardner- created the bands incredible headgear and sport complicated electronics capable of various LED effects enabling the artists to flash messages and images across their visors. Daft Punk stated that they donned their robot masks to easily merge the characteristics of humans and machines. However, one of the two artists that make up daft punk Chris Bangalter later admitted that the costumes were initially the result of shyness. "But then it became exciting from the audiences' point of view. It's the idea of being an average guy with some kind of superpower." When asked on whether the duo expressed themselves differently within the robotic suits, Bangalter stated "No, we don't need to.

Daft punk in their amazing movie "Electroma"
After a few albums and concerts the musical duo's outfits became slightly less complicated, consisting of simplified versions of the Discovery head gear and dark leather motorcycle styled jumpsuits designed by fashion designer Hedi Slimane.
In a brief nutshell how the lads had their helmets made:
1. A model shop cast the face of the musician. This was used to create a bust which was
used as a template for the design.
2. The next step was to modify a motorcycle helmet. The body was cut away to allow for
cables and electronics. Two pin holes were provided so the wearer could see out.
3. Clay models were created for all the unique parts. This included a back pack and an arm
band controller.
4. Electronic displays were designed using prototype PC board materials.
5. The LED display panels were assembled by placing each LED one-by-one into a plastic
sheet and glued into place. Each LED required three feet of wiring to connect it to power
and control circuitry. The finished panel was bolted to the helmet frame.
6. The LED cabling was routed around the “ears” of the helmet and out the back. The
helmet cables led down to the backpack where the main controller board was located.
7. The system was originally powered by batteries, but this was later switched over to a
power cord system.
8. The control keypad on the armband was a custom manufactured PC board.
9. Exterior plastic molding and finishing materials were custom manufactured by a special
effects studio to complete the helmet. Once these pieces were added, the helmet details
were touched up with paint.

Being very well crafted the units are still in use for performances even today.

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