HOWTO make a HAL9000

With just a few steps, you can turn one of Adafruit's Massive Red Arcade Button kits into a working (ish) HAL9000 computer:

Devoted film fans will spend countless hours and hundreds of dollars (occasionally even thousands) to create flawless replica props for their personal collections. The iconic eye of HAL 9000 from 2001: a Space Odyssey is one such object of desire…popular enough that detailed (and pricey) licensed reproductions exist. This is cool stuff! But if we relax our criteria just a bit, you or I can turn out a pretty decent, recognizable facsimile in a weekend for just a small fraction of the cost. The 80/20 rule in action!

We’re not selling a prop or even a kit here…that would raise a big licensing stink, so please don’t ask. What follows are some ideas on creating one yourself. Much like our not-a-Back-to-the-Future-clock project, the concept came about when customers noted that a component already in our shop resembled an unrelated film item — in this case, our Massive Red Arcade Button and HAL’s distinctive lens.

Affordable HAL 9000 Replica (Thanks, Phil!)


  1. I wonder how the button holds up outdoors in an above-freezing but sometimes raining climate. This would be great in the middle of the front door, complete with wireless intercom…

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