First tests – Fabrics and Servo

Today I started working on using fabric in conjunction with a servo motor and arduino uno to create interesting actuation that may be placed on the body. I am totally inspired by Meg Grant and her experiments in this area. This is something I am hoping will inform hack #2 of our research, bringing the outside to the inside and embodying sensations. I started with five different types of fabric to see how they would move and possibly feel went set in motion by a servo. I used silk chiffon, silk charmeuse, lycra, wool blend and denim and cut them into 12 inch squares. To attach them to the servo I used no stretch nylon bead string to two corners of the squares. The last two were very hard to use and one string broke each time I tried to move them with the servo. The first three fabrics however were light, flexible and moved constantly in swirling motions one way and then the other.    The silk charmeuse was interesting because it was not quite as floppy as the chiffon. I decided to continue to work with this and added two more strings. The dance that resulted reminded me of so many things: waves in the ocean, puppets being manipulated, and definitely choreography. The other exciting observation was when I put my hand on the fabric and could feel the movement. There was definite pulling and releasing from various angles that could be sensed by the body. This is very promising as a start to Hack Two.