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  • Arduino Overview
  • Arduino as Bluetooth HID
  • ATtiny: 7-Segment Display
  • ATtiny: Capacitive Sensing
  • ATtiny: Programming
  • ATtiny Serial & Wireless Boards!
  • ATtiny: Soft Serial
  • ATtiny: Sound
  • ATtiny: Soft Fade
  • Multiplexed Matrix
  • Controlling EL Panel and EL Wire
  • EL panel/wire inverter hack
  • Heat Controlling Circuit
  • LED with Light Sensor
  • Lilypad XBee Shield
  • Pull-up Resistors
  • RGB Colour Fade
  • simple heat circuit
  • Solar Powered Motor Circuit
  • Sound Amplifying Circuits
  • Teensy as HID Device
  • Transistor Switch
  • Volume Detection
  • Visualization: 2x2 Matrix
  • Visualization: Drawing
  • Visualization: Graph
  • Visualization: Pressure Sensor Matrix
  • Visualization: Touchpad
  • Voltage Divider
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    Content by Mika Satomi and Hannah Perner-Wilson
    The following institutions have funded our research and supported our work:

    From 2013-2015 Mika is a guest professor at the eLab at Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weissensee

    From July - December 2013 Hannah was a researcher at the UdK's Design Research Lab

    From 2010-2012 Mika was a guest researcher in the Smart Textiles Design Lab at The Swedish School of Textiles

    From 2009 - 2011 Hannah was a graduate student in the MIT Media Lab's High-Low Tech research group led by Leah Buechley


    In 2009 Hannah and Mika were both research fellows at the Distance Lab


    Between 2003 - 2009 Hannah and Mika were both students at Interface Cultures
    We support the Open Source Hardware movement. All our own designs published on this website are released under the Free Cultural Works definition

    Circuits and Code

    Transistor Switch


    When you are controlling actuator that needs more than 5V or more than 40mA (this is the maximum current digital pins can supply), you can not directly drive this actuator from the digital pins. This is the case, when you want to use strong motor, embroidered speaker, SMA or any heat actuators.. and many more. […]

    Voltage Divider


    The arduino‘s analog pins are reading the voltage that comes in, not the resistance over the two points. When you want to use a resistive sensor (i.e. neoprene bend sensor), you need to manipulate the voltage that goes into the analog pins with the resistive change the sensor makes. For this, we can make a […]

    ATtiny Serial & Wireless Boards!


    For projects with few i/o pins, using an ATtiny is a great alternative to arduino boards. Using software serial allows you to send and receive data over the serial port via an FTDI board, and connecting to one of Sparkfun’s Bluetooth mate boards makes for a pretty streightforward wireless option. (You could also connect it […]

    EL panel/wire inverter hack


    EL panel and inverters are interesting material, but rather hard to control since it involves inverters with AC current. There are some nice tutorials on how to control AC side with triac or EL sequencer at sparkfun, buildr.. so on. But I always had a bit of problem when I want to fade them slowly, […]

    Volume Detection


    Still a work in progress…. Using an arduino or an ATtiny microcontroller to translate sound (from a microphone or an audio jack) into light patterns.

    simple heat circuit


    You can make a simpler heat controlling circuit using TIP122 transistor. The above image is the schematic. If you want to control a lot of heat lines, you can use shift register between arduino and input pin of TIP122. This method is not good if you turn on/off the heat in high frequency. TIP122 will […]

    ATtiny: 7-Segment Display


    This circuit uses the ATtiny 8-pin microcontroller which has 5 I/O pins to create a 7-segment display. Since a 7-segment display only requires control of 7 individual LEDs, we use 4 of the ATtiny I/O pins as charlieplexed outputs (n*(n-1)). Leaving the the fifth I/O pin to be used as digital or analog input or […]

    Sound Amplifying Circuits


    This post covers a few different (very basic) techniques for amplifying various sound sources. On the one hand sound coming from circuits inside toys that make sound (toy piano, singing greeting cards, recording and playback modules…), as well as sound made by generating frequencies using a microcontroller such as the ATtiny or an arduino board. […]

    ATtiny: Programming


    This post is a summary that covers how to turn your arduino board into an ISP programmer and use it to program an ATtiny85 or 45 8-pin microcontroller.

    ATtiny: Soft Serial


    Using software serial library on an ATtiny to send serial via FTDI over USB (or bluetooth) for communication to computer. Useful for debugging!

    ATtiny: Capacitive Sensing


    Dave Mellis’s Touch code does capacitive sensing on the ATtiny.

    ATtiny: Sound


    Following some examples of running sound on the ATtiny.

    ATtiny: Soft Fade


    PWM (“analog output”) on all five i/o pins of an ATtiny using software PWM!

    Arduino as Bluetooth HID


    Using Sparkfun’s Bluetooth Modem – BlueSMiRF HID to interface between an arduino Pro Mini and a desktop Computer as an Human Interface Device (HID). The default mode of the BlueSMiRF HID is as a keyboard (which is very easy to set up), but you can also use it in HID raw mode (see user manual) […]

    Visualization: Pressure Sensor Matrix


    This 28×28 matrix was used in the rSkin project to visualize pressure and location of pressure applied to a rectangular neoprene pressure sensor matrix that was wrapped around a robot arm.

    Multiplexed Matrix


    The example in this post shows how multiplexers can be used to increase the number of I/O pins for sensor readings or outputs. A multiplexer chip uses control pins to toggle between multiple channels (3 control pins –> 8 channels, 4 control pins –> 16channels).

    Controlling EL Panel and EL Wire


    We have made some EL panel and EL wire controlling experiment. The first experiment is with EL sequencer from Sparkfun. The picture below shows how things are connected. EL sequencer has ATMega chip on it with arduino bootloader. So, you can program it like arduino. (it is same as lilypad 328 setup) To connect it […]

    Heat Controlling Circuit


    Here is the circuit schematics to control heating elements. I am using MOSFET as a digital switch to control on/off of the each heating element from arduino digital out pins. The project I developed this circuit for uses multiple heating lines, therefor I am pulsing it with 100ms each. OpAmp and transistors are there to […]

    Teensy as HID Device


    Use the Teensy board to fake Human Interface Device (HID) input. Human interface devices are recognized by your computer without need for drivers or custom software. They include computer mice, keyboards and joysticks. You can program the Teensy using arduino!!!

    LED with Light Sensor


    By using light sensor with transistor switch, you can make a “LED that turns on when dark” circuit without bothering with microcontrollers.

    Solar Powered Motor Circuit


    This circuit was inspired by the Overheadbots. The circuit harvests the energy from a 0,5V 100mA solar cell, storing it in capacitors and then releasing it to drive a motor. This circuit was used in the Solar T-Shirt example project.

    Arduino Overview


    arduino >> http://www.arduino.cc/ There are nice comparison on various Arduino on Arduino.cc site. USB : Diecimila   “The Arduino Diecimila is a microcontroller board based on the ATmega168 (datasheet). It has 14 digital input/output pins (of which 6 can be used as PWM outputs), 6 analog inputs, a 16 MHz crystal oscillator, a USB connection, a power jack, an ICSP […]

    RGB Colour Fade


    The following arduino code lets you input two RGB colours and then automatically fades from the first to the second. The following video shows the effects of this code.

    Visualization: Touchpad


    Using simple graphics to visualize position on a resistive touchpad.

    Visualization: 2×2 Matrix


    This code is great for visualizing pressure sensor matrices using a grid of squares that are filled with gray-scale values from 0-255, corresponding to the pressure sensor value.

    Visualization: Graph


    In many of our textile sensor videos and examples we use an arduino programmed to read analog sensor values and send them over serial to a computer running a visualization written in processing. We have taken our code from the following examples:

    Pull-up Resistors


    Voltage divider, variable resistor, pull-up, pull-down….???

    Lilypad XBee Shield


    Often, we experienced “Why it does not work?!” moment, because simply connection was not good, or power was not enough. It sounds simple, but if you are using conductive fabric or thread as connection, it happens time to time. so, we made a xbee shield (PCB) that can snap into lilypad‘s header pin so that […]

    Visualization: Drawing


    Reads 4 analog inputs and maps them to control the direction of a line being drawn.