Hello Object

What I hope to learn in Object:

-more about calculating what resistors and power sources are appropriate for setting up a circuit.

-more experience programming sensors and actuators with more complex functions

What I already know:

I am pretty familiar with basic electronics and programming Arduino from past classes in ATLAS, and I have been building, sewing, and creating things for as long as I can remember, so I would say that fabrication is my strong suit.

Project ideas:

Some things I would like to build

  • Hula hoop that counts revolutions, and/or speed, lights up in different patterns to based on inputs, and shuts off after a set time of inactivity.
  • LED clock with a unique time display
  • twirLED for him, using micro:bits to communicate back and forth.

Lab 1

Build 2 bread-boarded circuits – one with 2+ LEDs in parallel, one with 2+ leds in series. Be sure to use appropriate resistor values for the LEDs in your bread-boarded circuits.
Parts: jumper wires, breadboard, LEDs, resistors, power supplies, barrel jack connector, voltage regulator.
What to post: photos of each working circuit, schematic drawings, and a written explanation of what you made.

E

mail me a link to your post.

twirLED Final Post

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The basic idea for this project is a skirt that reacts to motion and lights up when you spin around on the dance floor. For social dancing like blues, swing, and salsa, the “show off” moment is when a dancer spins, so I wanted a skirt that only lights up at that time.

The function is accomplished by running a simple program that reads the position in the z-axis of a 3-axis sensor and triggers a light strand to blink if the reading is above a certain value.

Overall, I was pretty happy with the way my first prototype turned out, however, I became immediately aware of a construction problem during the first live trial.

The sensor and, pro micro and LED strips performed great, and as expected, but my solder joints on the LED strips around the hem of the skirt began breaking almost immediately.  I did some research into other LED and wire products and found an alternative way to construct my second prototype, which is proving to be much more durable.  Here is a link to the Instructable I wrote if you are interested in all the nitty gritty details of this project and a couple demo videos of the second prototype below.

The only issue I have yet to resolve is that the 5V power bank, of which I have tried several, turn off if there is not enough power being drawn off of them, but all you have to do is turn it back on, and everything works fine, so I don’t know if it is even worth addressing.  Of the ones I tried out, I think I prefer the Sparkfun version because it has a switch that works to turn it on and off and it has a small digital display that tells you what percentage of charge the battery has left.

Finally got all the info together and organized to post an Instructable for this project if you are interested in recreating your own version.  I also entered it into one of Instructables contests, so please like and vote if you enjoy it!  Thanks.

Click here to check out Instructable! 

 

MindScribe

I was fortunate to have the wonderful opportunity to work with the MindScribe team to help develop soft user interfaces for their work.  I did this project as independent study for a semester working on tactile fabrication.  Some goals for the user interface were low cost and using local animals for educational setting.

stripes“MindScribe is on a mission to help young children tell their stories. We use puppets and talking stuffed animals to ask kids questions about their 2D & 3D creations. By creating and sharing their stories, children grow their skills and their connections with the world. And through their stories, caregivers learn how to better support incredible, individual growth”

This project was entered into the openIDEO Early Childhood Innovation Challenge and will be presented at HRI 2018 in Chicago and IUI ACM 2018 in Tokyo, Japan.

 

The Process

Supplies:

  • stuffed animal from a secondhand store ($2)
  • Fabri-Tac (fabric glue)
  • Seam ripper
  • Scissors
  • Zipper or velcro
  • Needle and thread
  • Clothes Pins

Step one: find a suitable subject..

I checked the local Goodwill first to see what I might be able to find.IMAG0441

 

I was able to get these guys for $2 apiece, and chose to start with a few different body shapes and sizes to see what might work best.   IMAG0450

Step 2: Wash and Prep

Make sure to wash the toy, especially if it is pre-owned.

Step 3: Making the pocket:

There are several ways to do this.  I sewed some of them and created some just using fabric glue.  The glue option is quicker and more approachable for anyone who doesn’t have a sewing machine on hand.  This is simple construction and doesn’t have to look pretty since it is going to be inside the stuffed animal.  The purpose is to make it easy to get the phone in and out and to keep the stuffing from escaping.

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Rabbit

 

This guy is pretty small, and only smaller phones would fit inside so didn’t work for everyone, but with a small phone, he stands up really well because he can sit in the tripod position.

24-baby.w710.h473.2x

 

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Owl

This guy presented a bit of a challenge because he can’t stand up on his own, so I added a skeleton by bending a wire coat hanger to fit in his feet and tail to create a triangle base and then up in a big loop in his head.

 

 

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Grumpy GopherIMAG0550.jpg

The look on this one’s face is just too cute.  I took a different approach to adding a pocket to this one.  Instead of a zipper, I decided to see if Velcro would work as a closure option.  Additionally, because this one has a larger body than the others, I made the pocket opening horizontal instead of vertical.

 

 

 

 

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Racoon

 

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Bearimag0618.jpg

This bear is another example of the tripod position where the animal sits with it’s front feet between their back feet which adds some stability so the furry friend doesn’t fall over when a phone is inside it.

 

 

 

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Thermochromic Textile

First step is to make something integrating a yarn dyed with thermachromic pigment.  I decided an ear warmer would be a good platform as the heat wire element might enhance the ear warming function as it heats up to change the yarn color.

I like the way the yarn blends in.  Makes for a more dramatic reveal! Now to test it.

 

Thanks to Laura and Unstable Design Lab for providing the dyed yarn and Wayne for the assist with testing the needed wattage.  I’m still unsure of how to actually functionally power this project, but I think it is an interesting idea.

gLovED

First Prototype

The first prototype we made in class by running wires through a glove and soldering two LEDs on top of the fingers. Making sure that positive wire of both LEDs ran to the tip of each finger, and the negative wires both ran to the thumb. Then when you pinch a coin cell battery it completes the circuit for the finger and thus lights up the light associated with that finger.

Unfortunately, solder isn’t flexible, and after a few times playing with it, the solder joint of snapped off one of the LEDs.

IMAG0596

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Second Prototype

I liked this idea and wanted some more experience working with conductive thread that I had only used once before, so decided to make a second version of this glove this time with lights on three of the fingers.

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I made sure to stitch a fairly wide pad on each finger to ensure good contact points.

 

pretty happy with it! Red, White, and Blue.

Had to hook it up to an alternate power source because I ran my battery out of juice.

If I make a third prototype, I would embed a power source in the glove so that you could light it up just by touching each finger to the thumb.

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Third Prototype

In the final iteration for this idea I decided I wanted the light on the glove to serve a purpose other than just being fun.

Problem: Many apartments do not have a good outside light source near the front door, so during the darker winter months, and for those who work late, it is difficult to find the keyhole in the dark, especially if one is wearing gloves to keep warm.

Idea: Create a glove with an LED that lights up the key hole when the user is holding a key in front of it.

Design Process: I started by taking a pair of gloves I wear all the time with touch pads already embedded in the thumb and forefinger and then used conductive thread to sew a circuit that is completed when the pads are pressed together. This works with or without a key.

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While I was sewing the circuit into the glove, I was showing a friend what I was doing, and he commented that he normally holds his keys between his thumb and the middle of his forefinger rather than the tip. So, I made and extra contact pad there by adding some extra stitches with the conductive thread.

 

This worked quite well!

The light output is quite good and more than sufficient for the intended purpose.

Sew Something…

Step one:

Find two fabrics that you like and cut out all the pieces.

Here are some instructions on that:

Basically
-measure your waist and divide that number by 6.28
-fold the fabric in quarters and use the number to draw the radius from the double folded corner.
-decide how long you want your skirt and measure it out from the first radius making sure to leave a seam allowance.
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After cutting the circles and waistbands, I sewed the bottom hem of the two large circles together with the right sides facing, and then turned it inside out and sewed the hem.  this allows the hem to be neat and beautiful on both sides.

 

Here is the finished hem

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Because this  skirt uses two woven fabrics that don’t have much stretch, I put a zipper in, so next step is cut the skirt where i wanted the zipper to go.

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Next comes the waist band.  using the same method with the main skirt, sew bands together with right sides facing along one of the long edges then flip and resew.  this is the top edge of the waist band
There are several methods for attaching a waistband.  I pinned the grey side first, right sides together and sewed them then, turned the skirt over and turned the edge under and pinned the print side

 

Waistband attached!

 

Now for the zipper!

this is a somewhat difficult part
I used a reversible double sided zipper.  The one I liked was actually for a sleeping bag, so I had to cut it way down!
Fold fabric under and pin the zipper in place
Be careful of the pins and turn the skirt inside out and repeat

hoLEDay tree

Positioning:  Interactive wall art provides users with the option to continually personalize their art through changing color modes and other elements with LED lights

Mission:  Change the way people think about their walls by providing the opportunity to continually customize a piece of art to fit moods and special occasions.

Vision:  Be beautiful and delightful

Target Audience:  All ages.  People who enjoy the mixed medium of hard and soft, art and technology

IMAG0284
Printed a copy of a tree design I created in Illustrator to use as a pattern to bend the wire

Goals

-Use on of my tree sketches to create a holiday tree that is safe for kids to decorate with lights

-Enhance the experience by eliminating the frustration and danger of traditional light strings

-Add joy to a room with the finished product

 

 

 

After getting the first few wires shaped I ran testing the first part of the circuit with an external power source and an RGB cycling LED.

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Had to learn how to do some basic soldering for this project to make the wire connections to complete the circuit.

 

Assembly processes.  In order to have a minimalist design, I ran wires in front and behind with a gap in the circuit that will be bridged by each LED.  Gluing small high power magnets to the back make a nice attachment for the lights.