I spent the day trying to charge the lithium ion polymer batteries I have for my Seeeduino Film Frame and try to program it as well as get my other lithium ion polymer batteries charged with the new charger.
Here is the Seeeduino UartSB Frame USB based programming adapter charging the battery of the this ridiculously small Seeeduino Film Frame … I managed to get it programmed and the battery working, but did not actually get it to blink on the Film Frame just the UartSB Frame… so more research and components …
So this is the charging activity above… now I have to get them doing something – like powering the Flora or Lilypad… next thing…Camille
Wearables and Electronics Resources April 2012-March 2013
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.
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.
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.
And here are some videos of the 100% cotton yarn in action
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.
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.
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.
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.
Part of a collection of wearable projects Kate and I are working on before the summer presentations and workshops we’re conducting.
Wearables and Electronics Resources April-Nov 2012
Materials/ Sensors to buy or make
- Bare conductive Ink (and tutorials) http://bareconductive.com/tutorials
- NeuroSky – EEG sensor – http://store-eu.neurosky.com/products/mindwave-1
- Conductive shopping list and cool wearable projects – How to Get What You Want –http://www.kobakant.at/DIY/?page_id=2156
- 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
Soft Circuits /Wearables resources
- soft and hard sensor projects and resources http://www.mediamatic.net/12648/en/wearable-arduino
- 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
- Soft Circuits Saturdays Wearable projects and resourceshttp://softcircuitsaturdays.com/projects/
- Felted Signal Processing http://fsp.fm/
- Kit-of-no-parts- http://web.media.mit.edu/~plusea/?category_name=actuators