Cool Wearable Electronics


Mascot costumes are often hot and sweaty, and mascots are expected to enthusiastically energize their teams. At FIRST robotics competitions, there are also traditions of dance parties during delays caused by technical difficulties, leading to even more activity in a warm, heavy costume than would normally be expected.


Cardinalbotics, an FRC team from San Francisco, made a mascot costume using an application of wearable electronics I had not considered before: cooling fans. The cardinal head was made of fabric sewn over shaped foam, with fans on the sides to keep everything cool inside.


The fans were wired up to an on/off switch and adjustment pot which were hidden in a velcro compartment in the back of the head.

4 thoughts on “Cool Wearable Electronics

  1. It is very strange, that you find this as new idea. Fans are used in mascot costumes for years! New trends here are flexible heat pipes and peltier modules…

    1. It’s new to me, as someone who is not around mascots other than at robotics events. Some high school robotics teams are lucky enough to have been given an old cast-off from the sports teams, but many make their own, and I thought this one was pretty cool. I’d love to see a DIY peltier cooled mascot costume next!

  2. Hey there, team 4159 mascot here!
    Found this article online and was so happy that you found my head interesting. Honestly, recommendations from my team got me started. When they told me that I should make a mascot, I said “Why not?” I went online to find a procedure written on Makezine ( that this person had posted. With some artsy help and consultations from parents and members from the team, i started carving away while they made the costume, and voila! We had a mascot. The suit is cut off short on the leg pants, and is also cut off at the hands to allow the heat from my body to vent upwards into the head, where it is exhausted. Fresh air comes in through the face, sleeves, and pants to keep me or whoever is in the suit cool. Adding some extra touches like the potentiometer dial really helped incorporate our robotic experiences into the costume (and save battery)!

  3. If you want to venture deeper into high quality costume/mascots, might I suggest to google for “Fursuit”. The Furry Fandom has for years gathered much experience with building mascots (which we call “Fursuits”). There are lots of tutorials available for all kinds of aspects of fursuit building.

    Good cooling is a requirement and thus early design consideration given that Fursuiters (the persons wearing the Fursuits) like to take part in “Suitwalks” (several suiters and non-suiters just gathering in cities and amusing folkz on the street), and dances (with disco music, lights, fog, etc) are common at Furry conventions, and Fursuiters a regular sight even deep into the night.

    For those aspects, fans are a default accessoire, and the whole construction is often build to allow good ventilation – e.g. by using hollow structures instead of cutted foam for the head. Nowadays even cooling vests are available (“EZcooldown”).

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