Exploratorium Demo 2010

Digital Multimeter for e-Textiles

This digital multimeter is useful for evaluating textiles and thread for conductivity and electrical resistance.
Because each colored led have a different forward voltage different “scales are provided”, Blue is good for low resistance, Green for middle, and red for higher resistance.

It is is easily built by soldering the anode or cathode of the RGB led (the longest lead) to the appropriate battery terminal.

The other leads are twisted with round nosed jewelry pliers into spirals.

new Solderless Breadboard Felting LED Flasher

This led flasher uses a conventional astable multivbrator (with LED's in the emitters) but unconventionally uses conductive felt for the mechanical and electrical connections and to form the resistors.

Zoned Proximity Sensing with a double-woven Fabric and an Interleaved Conductive Grid

This textile was woven by Christy Matson. There are many applications of this approach. Here I show that it can be used for zoned proximity sensing using a qprox capacitance sensing chip. Pressure sensing can be achieved by felting in a resistive felt at the intersections.

Felting Electronics

Felting techniques illustrate how an inclinometer and rotary position sensor is constructed from conductive thread and resistive thread from Eeonyx.

Kalimba Controller with piezo-resistive fabric pressure sensor for displacement measurement

This simple controller is inspired by the south African kalimba. The kalimba lends itself to rapid assembly because of its use of a single central bar held down by two screws to trap the array of tines between two pivot points.

Wooden tines are used in this prototype because they are faster to shape than the traditional metal and this controller doesn’t require the tines to be tuned. The flexibility of copper tape is exploited as strips follow the contour of the flat base around the curve of a half-round pressure pivot.

felt capacitive proximity sensing

a qprox demo board is used to demonstrate proximity sensing with e-textiles

Pressure Sensing Illuminated Button Array

Button array music controllers have a long history. I was fortunate to meet the late great, Salvatore Martirano who pioneered the construction of large button array music synthesizers. I saw him set up and play has Salmar Construction at IRCAM in the 1980's.

My modest contribution to this rich space is to enhance the illuminated button arrays (in this case from Sparkfun) with pressure sensitive resistive fabric.

Tablo etextile fabric drape sensing controller

This controller with no direct antecedents is made by draping conductive stretchable fabric over a cereal bowl creating a curve related to the famous one called the witch [sic] of Agnesi.
Resistive strips around the bowl are shorted out by the fabric and the varying resistances are
measured and sent via USB to control software on a host computer.

Battery and Power Supplies you can Sew

A collection of power sources for e-textile and wearables projects.

Sewn, wearable, etextile, fabric multitouch

Piezoresistive fabric is sandwiched by sewn rows of vertical and horizontal pads using a basic sewing machine's custom embroidery pattern.

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