I want to make a HUD Helmet similar to the one shown in Ironman movies. Please suggest me some links and parts needed for this type of project

  • Someone mentioned below and I think you should think about your goal (a helmet display) vs. your approach (an Ironman-styled helmet display). It is quite easy to do a helmet mounted display - VR being one. it is another story to an Ironman styled helmet display. If the latter is important to you, you may need to wait sometime.
    – dannyf
    Commented Jul 9, 2017 at 13:04

4 Answers 4


There is a fairly inexpensive solution, but it's not Arduino based.

All you need is:

  • the Google Cardboard sdk
  • a fairly modern and powerful Android phone (I have a OnePlusOne and it works well with Cardboard apps) - assuming you already own something similar, this is where the big saving happens :-)
  • a compatible head unit: there are many available on ebay (on some you might have to drill a hole where the camera of the phone is located.) price got from about $5 to $25
  • some high level programming skills to write your augmented reality application, but there's no way around it :-) - you might even find some demo on the net.

Here the basic of the solution I'm proposing is to take the video stream from the front camera on the phone, use the CardBoard API to create a view for each eye (yes, you will loose stereoscopy, since each eye will see the same image from the camera) and overlay it with whatever info you would like to show. The simpler case could be a compass, where you show N-W-S-E at the top of the field of view. Or you could even add a map, like in a FPS :-)

The part where the arduino might come useful is if you want to create some (bluetooth, for example) sensor and/or controller (using the usb port from the phone requires both a phone with HW that supports host mode and a rooted device).


You will need Electroluminescent Transparent display, something like this display from Beneq

But these displays are segmented displays...The problem with these displays is these displays are very expensive :( other problem is Focusing the display, You need to keep the display at your Focal distance..

Good thing is : You can use "CUSTOM ARDUINO" board to control this display, "IF" size is consideration :)

Happy Learning..


You can't. You can't even simulate it or even begin to approach that style of display.

Try it. Print something out then hold it in front of your face the distance the visor is away from you. Now try and focus on it. You can't. The human eyes are unable to focus that closely.

You would need to focus the vision through lenses (which is what VR headsets do) or directly project through prisms and lenses into the eye (which is what Google Glass does) in order for you to be able to see the images you generate.

You could do it if you required the user to wear special glasses to focus their vision, however they then wouldn't be able to focus on anything else much and would keep walking into things and tripping over their own feet. The rest of the world would just be a complete blur.

The whole depiction of those kind of HUD displays are impractical. In military HUD systems the image is either fed via a single eyepiece (and it takes lots of practice and brain training to get the brain to superimpose the two images), or it's projected on to the cockpit window. The only way it could be done as they depict it would be to directly project the images into both eyes (to create a 3D effect) superimposing it over the natural light entering the eyes. That would then of course mean that it would be invisible to anyone except the user, so still wouldn't be quite the same.

  • 1
    See my answer. Nowadays even VR and AR are getting quite cheap :-) Commented Aug 8, 2015 at 1:36
  • @IgorStoppa Do you know what the Iron man HUD is like? It's not a vr headset. There is no headset. It's nothing like Google cardboard or occulus rift or anything like that. A vr headset is not what the op is asking for.
    – Majenko
    Commented Aug 8, 2015 at 7:29
  • Did you read my answer before writing the comment above? I described an augmented reality contraption, not a VR headset. Which is precisely what can be done, as I described, with Cardboard, since there is a camera on the other side of the phone. The fact that in the movie the HUD is allegedly done with a projector is irrelevant, for the purpose of creating an augmented reality experience. At least I have proposed a plausible solution. Commented Aug 8, 2015 at 14:38
  • 1
    Matter of opinion. Btw, any sane design of a weaponized AR a-la-IronMan would do just this: use a slab of metal with a camera on the outer side and a display/projector on the inner side, rather than ALON for see-through, like HoloLens. The ALON can be used to protect the camera. So I think this is really close to what the OP was asking. But I'll let him decide. Commented Aug 8, 2015 at 18:57
  • 1
    You would be amazed at the preposterous things people that come here think they can do with an Arduino. Very often you just have to tell them no, and to get realistic.
    – Majenko
    Commented May 15, 2018 at 0:37

Luckily the concept of an Ironman helmet has more options then one would think and can be broken down as if any form of helmet. First theres the question of dimensions and proportion - this has more options than I realized since the Ironman helmet has undergone many transformations over more than 50 years both in print and film. An image search of "Ironman mask" and "Ironman comic" shows that there are a lot of options to choose from. Additionally I haven't found a consensus to exactly how Ironman was able to see outside the helmet which leaves your options open as well.

The "Ironman Mask" has what some could argue are two covered openings for the user to look through. Call them windows, eye holes - what ever - but they are openings to allow the user a direct field of vision through the helmet. If this is the case you are asking for a system that projects an overlay of some type into the users natural line of sight. Others could argue that these "eyes" on the outside of the mask are just for looks and that the users vision is completely enclosed in the helmet and that their entire view of the outside world is somehow projected into their view within the helmet.

If we're speaking of the first case, an Arduino can be used for a simple head mounted display (there are multiple examples if you Google it - include terms "glass", "hmd", and "hud") but Uno and other atmel based Arduinos are limited to simple 8 bit animations and text, nothing truly impressive or emersive. You will also have the issue of image correction in cases where your trying to create a large overlay - the viewable image will warp and fade since not projected onto surface strait on. Lenses can be used to correct but this is costly and not realistic for most diy/makers which only leaves software based solutions which Uno cannot handle running. It is possible however with other boards like the pi zero which is comparable in size and price and has enough power for higher resolution graphics and image correction. Note this approach will still require a single lens for focusing the projected image, but these are basic and cheap lenses as opposed to prisms or multi-lens solutions.

The second case would functionally be more like a VR headset and could be a challenge with some designs of Ironman helmets due to limited space within the helmet. If willing to stretch the proportion of the helmet a generic low definition version could be created using cheap lenses and at least two unos. it will require at least one FPV camera module and two display modules as well as whatever sensors you would be using. this would be more in line with Igor Stoppa's answer.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.