The Hacksmith: Real Life Spider-Sense with LiDAR

By The Hacksmith

This project was created by Engineering Superheroes of Hackmith Industries.


Hacksmith Industries has recreated many items from Marvel Comics over the past several years. With Spider-Man, however, the process is slightly different. Instead of recreating items like Thor’s Mjolnir or Iron Man’s suit, The Hacksmith attempts to recreate Spider-Man’s powers with electronics.

In the past, the Hacksmith team tackled Spider-Man’s ability to stick to walls and swing from buildings. Now, they are recreating his spider senses, which alert him when danger is near and allow him to dodge villain attacks. Check out how Spider-Man’s spider senses are recreated with electronics in the video below!


How Does it Work?

LiDAR technology is similar to radar, but instead of sending sound waves to bounce off things, it sends a beam of light. This technology is what made the project possible. The LiDAR system sits inside a Spider-Man replica mask, which can house the spider-sense circuitry on a flexible PCB. LiDAR sensors are placed in the mask that ends up on the sides and back of the user’s head when worn. These send beams of light multiple times every second and send the data back to the microcontroller.

The microcontroller used in this project is an ATTINY, and like its namesake, it is a tiny microcontroller. It receives and processes the LiDAR data and sends a signal to vibration motors that correspond with the LiDAR sensors on each side of the user’s head. These are the same type of vibrations motors used in cell phones. When something gets close to the user on a certain side, the LiDAR’s reading is processed by the microcontroller and a signal is sent to the vibration motor on that side. With some fine-tuning of the programming, the spider-sense mask can be even more precise in the future!

Schematic and BOM


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