Tagged: soft circuits

WORKSHOP LINKS & RESOURCES

Performative Examples:

Online Tutorials:

How to Get What You Want

Codasign

Lilypad  and e-sewing basics/Leah Buechley

 MzTeK

Fashioning Technology

Instructables

Soft Circuits Saturdays Wearable projects and resources

Felted Signal Processing http://fsp.fm/

Creating Felt Sensors http://learning.codasign.com/index.php?title=Creating_Felt_Sensors

Materials/ Sensors to buy or make:

open Materials http://openmaterials.org/2011/03/27/materials-101-electrotextiles/#special

Flexible Stretch sensors http://www.imagesco.com/sensors/stretch-sensor.html

Plug and Wear http://www.plugandwear.com/default.asp?mod=cat&cat_id=86

Plusea soft electronics http://www.plusea.at/?p=938

Awesome “kit-of-no parts” electronics you make http://web.media.mit.edu/~plusea/?category_name=actuators

Mediamatic  http://www.mediamatic.net/12648/en/wearable-arduino

Conductive materials http://3lectromode.com/blog/2013/01/01/conductive-materials/

 

Arduino (Lilypad & Flora) resources:

http://www.adafruit.com/category/92 – overview of Flora & to purchase

http://learn.adafruit.com/getting-started-with-flora – getting started

http://lilypadarduino.org – getting started

http://www.learning.codasign.com/index.php?title=Beginning_Arduino – more on getting started

http://arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/Foundations – Arduino’s own learning resources

 

Australian electronics distributors:

Little Bird Electronics, Toys Down Under, RobotGear, Australian Robotics, ProtoGEAR, Squarebit, Bilby CNC, Gorillabuilderz, The Life Automatic, Ocean Controls, Electron Hobbies, Sedonia Technologies

 

Other Key Suppliers (non-Australian)

Spark Fun – https://www.sparkfun.com/categories/top?category=135&since=ever&per_page=50

Adafruit – http://www.adafruit.com

TinyCircuits http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/kenburns/tinyduino-the-tiny-arduino-compatible-platform-w-s 

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Crochet Stretch Sensors – Working with conductive yarn

For the Unraveled performance, I have been working with conductive yarn. What I have found is to make sensors with a resistance that is measurable. I don’t focus on the electronics and measurements so much – just what seems to work. A lot of this is based on Kobakant’s How To Get What You Want. So I highly recommend checking them out, especially if you want conductive and resistant measurements.

Basically I crochet a sample of yarn with the conductive yarn and normal yarn just paired together as if I were crocheting with one piece. The conductive yarn is Nm10/3 conductive yarn. The stitch I default to is a double treble (UK) crochet stitch. I actually taught myself crochet through these tutorials.

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I have been trialling different types of normal yarn and have found some just are not resistive. My test is a simple 3.7V battery , resistor and LED and when the yarn is stretched. In the image above you can see the types of yarn I have tried.

Silver – All conductive yarn. Great as a conductor but no resistance
Blue – 80% bamboo 20% wool. No resistance.
Pink (used in video) – 100% cotton. Works best.
Yellow – 100% Acrylic. No resistance.
Pink/White mix – 70% triacetate 30% nylon. No resistance.
Hot Pink (pictured below on soft circut sample) – 50% Acrylic 50% cotton. Works well.

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I have used the working trials in creating soft circuits with the crocheted stretch sensor, battery and LED with conductive thread. Below the crochet is sewn onto stretch jersey fabric so the stretch comes from the fabric.

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And here are some videos of the 100% cotton yarn in action

Crochet Stretch Sensor 1

Crochet Stretch Sensor 2

Trials, Errors and Triumphs – Working with Bluetooth & Microcontrollers

Recently I have been working on a dance piece called Unraveled which utilises crocheted stretch sensors across the ribs to measure breath. This is then sent via a microcontroller wirelessly to a laptop where it manipulates sounds. During this process there have been many technicalities in working with bluetooth (Bluesmirf in particular) and Flora which have made me change directions in the parts/technology which will be implemented this project.

Kate 02

First idea was to use the Flora microcontroller from Adafruit. This is a newer microcontroller that is for wearables with slight differences from the Lilypad (mostly around the battery). Adafruit plan to release a bluetooth module according to their website. This being the case I thought the Flora might work with other bluetooth modules, such as Bluesmirf. Unfortunately this is not the case.

Firstly, I had to reconfiguire the Bluesmirf anyways. There is more about how to do this here and here. There is also a small bit about this in Tom Igoe’s book Making Things Talk (2nd edition) on page 68. Basically it has to be changed from HID to SPP in order to pair with a laptop and send serial. I did this first in Cool Terminal and later realised I could also do this in the Arduino software. However, even after trialling various CMD codes, it would still not handshake with the Flora.

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It is definitely not the Bluesmirf because the set up works with the Arduino Uno. And I can send serial from my stretch sensors to the computer wirelessly. The problem with the Uno is that is is a bulky board for prototyping, not really to be worn as part of a costume.

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My next idea is to move away from bluetooth and use xbee and lilypad. This is a working combo and will allow for sewing the lilypad onto the garment that is also housing the stretch sensors.

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More Links and Resources (Camille’s)

Wearables and Electronics Resources  April-Nov 2012

Materials/ Sensors to buy or make

Soft Circuits /Wearables resources 

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