You can design, print and etch your own PCBs from a flexible sheet of Kapton coated with a thin layer of copper. To do this yourself you need some special materials and equipment, and if you are not planning on etching circuits more regularly then it can be nice to start by looking for a local space that has an etching setup you can use.
Photo of a flex circuit etched using the exact same process as described below in step-by-step detail.
NEW PRODUCT – Right Angle USB cable – A/MicroB – This here is your standard A to micro-B USB cable, for USB 1.1 or 2.0, but with a twist! Literally! Instead of the cable coming straight out from the connector, there’s a right angle bend. We thought this might make a good pair for a Raspberry Pi as the cable doesn’t stick out as far. We got cables with extra-beefy 24 AWG power wires, and 28 AWG data lines, so it’s particularly good for power-hungry devices like micro-computers and phones.
Next we cut out a little circle of conductive fabric and split it in two and sewed them onto the left shoulder blade. We took conductive thread, sewed it into the VBATT hole, and connected it to one of the conductive fabric circle halves. We then sewed a new piece of conductive thread from the unused half circle, and connected it through all of the positive ends of the LED lights.
By interrupting the circuit using the conductive fabric half circles, when someone wearing conductive thread on their right wrist, the circuit will complete when they put their arm around the person wearing the sweater.
Ever wish your clothes could change color to match each other? Make a chameleon scarf to match every outfit using the Flora color sensor and 12 color-changing LED pixels diffused by a ruffly knit scarf. Check out the video on YouTube (please subscribe!) and Vimeo, and make your own with the full tutorial on the Adafruit Learning System.
Flora Color Sensor – TCS34725 – Your electronics can now see in dazzling color with this lovely color light sensor. We found the best color sensor on the market, the TCS34725, which has RGB and Clear light sensing elements. An IR blocking filter, integrated on-chip and localized to the color sensing photodiodes, minimizes the IR spectral component of the incoming light and allows color measurements to be made accurately. The filter means you’ll get much truer color than most sensors, since humans don’t see IR. The sensor also has an incredible 3,800,000:1 dynamic range with adjustable integration time and gain so it is suited for use behind darkened glass or fabric.
LONDON, United Kingdom — On Friday, Credit Suisse issued a report on the rise of wearable devices — personal accessories with embedded sensors, displays and other digital technology, such as Nike’s FuelBand, Google’s Internet-connected eyewear and Apple’s rumoured iWatch — calling them “a mega trend” that has hit “an inflection point in market adoption” and will have “a significant and pervasive impact on the economy,” reports Barron’s.
The “wearables” market, currently concentrated in health and fitness and estimated to be worth between $3 billion to $5 billion, is set to explode, said the report, reaching $30 billion to $50 billion over the next three to five years, as sensors and battery life improve and an ecosystem of entrepreneurs start to build thousands of apps and services on top of wearable devices, just as they have done for smartphones.
In the future, our clothes will replace our devices. They will light up with social media alerts, producing holograms to read those updates wherever we choose. We’ll never need to remember umbrellas or coats again either — sensors will read humidity levels and tell the conductive fibres of our customised 3D-printed clothes to release waterproof chemicals, while a shift in their nanoparticles will pull fibres together for insulation. Sensors will send our biometric data to doctors, while the antibacterial fabrics protect us from viruses.
These are most definitely designs of the future but that future is not so distant: all these technologies exist in some form today. Products like Google Glass and Apple’s rumoured iWatch represent the early stages of the wearable technology market, a market that Credit Suisse has predicted will have “a significant and pervasive impact on the economy”. The “mega trend” stands to be worth up to $50 billion over the next three to five years, fuelled by the wellness and fitness sector and advances in battery and sensor technology. However, unless these technologies converge with the fashion industry, there’s a danger they will fail to become popularised and remain unaffordable.
Who said Robots shouldn’t dress cool. Herb was created out of the desire to create a more natural neckjoint for a Robot, and a more efficient eye-rig. And beside the technical parts, also to explore the possibilities to add even more character to the Robot’s appearance.
What is Animatronic Beaker-bot? Well, the Beaker-bot is a animatronic puppet that will “sing” to the sound that I play through him. Meaning, If I hook up an iPod or other music playing device, he will lip-sync his mouth to the music or words. He is also a fully functional puppet with Beaker style head and hand control. He also has a electric button to control his animatronic mouth, and for fans of more classical puppetry, Beaker-bot does have a classic rod to control his mouth as well.
Beaker-bot, for me is both an excellent puppet for someone like me who does not have good enough puppetry voice skills to talk on my own. I also can have him on display, and he can talk and sing without a puppeteer, which is one of the major advantages of animatronics. I plan on having him on display during holidays such as Christmas.
I better mention right here that this is my first attempt at anything puppet or animatronic related. I am very happy with the results for my first try. I have no clue what the professionals use in their methods, and I am pretty sure that the methods I use are not the same as what is done professionally. That being said, the methods I used turned out very well for my needs.
Using an accelerometer and a handful of sensors, a team of Colorado State University students has created the Spatial Hand Remote. The gadget controls the flight of a remote control airplane through the sensors in a glove.
The movement of the plane follows the movement of the glove. As the hand in the glove tilts to the right or left, so does the plane. Sensors attached to fingers are used to control the throttle, roll reverse, and the on-off switch. The user’s hands control the plane like a maestro controling an orchestra.
HOUSTON – (May 7, 2013) – A group of Rice University mechanical engineering students are getting a charge out of having the coolest new shoes on campus.
As their capstone project that is required for graduation, four seniors created a way to extract and store energy with every step. Their PediPower shoes turn motion into juice for portable electronics and, perhaps someday, for life-preserving medical devices.
Heidi Hinder discusses her craft + technology residency at Watershed in Bristol, UK on Humans Invent:
The project focused on creating new ways of exchanging payment via physical gestures in an attempt to make technology a more interactive experience. It also served to promote physical contact with other humans in an age when the digital is replacing the tangible.
Hinder explains, “I was interested in trying to bring people closer together through technology and how that might be possible given that people are often quite isolated and absorbed by it, so I used technology as a mediation to bring back human to human interaction.”
Using RFID tags and readers, Hinder created four different physical gestures that could act as payment including hugging. In this scenario the customer and server wear an RFID tag and reader respectively on their tops and money is exchanged when these come into contact – the easiest way for this to happen is by hugging.