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    Content by Mika Satomi and Hannah Perner-Wilson
    E-Textile Tailor Shop by KOBAKANT
    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
    Workshops

    School of Wicked Fabrics: FOUNDATION /02


    Textile Sensors

    One can make different types of sensors. Some sensors have two states, “on” or “off”, or another words, “contact” or “no contact” like on/off switches of a light. Other sensors have range of states, like a dimmer of a light. The two state kind of sensors are digital sensors, and the sensors that has range is called analog sensors.

    We can build these sensors and read the resistance change with multimeter.

    Contact Sensor (ON/OFF, digital)

    Push Button
    push button

    http://www.kobakant.at/DIY/?p=48

    Tilt Switch
    tilt
    http://www.kobakant.at/DIY/?p=201

    Resistive Sensor (value, analog)

    You are measuring the material’s electrical resistivity. The characteristics of the resistive material decides how the sensor behaves electrically.

    knit stretch sensor
    http://www.kobakant.at/DIY/?p=2108
    stretch knit
    knit stretchknit stretchknit stretchknit stretchknit stretchknit stretch

    bend sensor
    http://www.kobakant.at/DIY/?p=20
    bendbendbendbendbend

    pressure sensor for heavy weight
    http://www.kobakant.at/DIY/?p=5689
    heavy weightheavy weightheavy weightheavy weightheavy weightheavy weight

    Stretch Sensor
    stretch
    stretchstretchstretchstretchstretchstretch

    Conductive Wool: Needle felt Squeeze Sensor
    You can mix a bit of wool to increase the range of resistance change.
    felt
    feltfeltfeltfeltfeltfeltfelt


    Voltage Divider

    If you have 2 exactly same resistors, the voltage gets half in the middle, like the first diagram. As the ratio between two resisters changes, the voltage you get in the middle (between the resisters) changes accordingly.
    One can calculate this by
    Supply voltage (5v) x resistanceA / (resistanceA + resistanceB) = divided voltage

    So much of a theory, let’s try this to see if it really works. Here is an experiment with two resister with a multumeter.
    The first experiment shows two same size resister (10kohm) dividing the provided voltage (5V) in half. The multimeter is set as V– for reading direct current voltage. The probes are connected to 0V (GND) of the power supply and the middle point where two resisters meet. You can see 2.44 in the multilmeter’s display. (almost 2.5V.. maybe the resister had some range) It divides the 5V in 50/50 ratio.

    In the second experiment, I changed one of the resister to 47kohm. So now the ratio of two resisters are 10/47. So, I should read 5V x 10/(10+47) = 0.877 V in theory. As you can see in multimeter, it is 0.85V it measures. Not bad!

    Now, if you change one of the resister to our resistive textile sensor, it works the same. The felt sensor I tested here has about 8kohm – 100kohm resistance range. You can see how the voltage that gets divided in the middle changes as I manipulate the felt. Now, if you connect the point where multimeter is reading to the arduino Analog input, we can read how much voltage comes in.



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