Example Projects

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Example Projects
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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:

    Since 2020, Hannah is guest professor of the Spiel&&Objekt Master's program at the University of Performing Arts Ernst Busch in Berlin

    From 2013-2015 Mika was 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
    Example Projects

    Breathing Belt

    Very simple solution for capturing the movement of the chest or stomach breathing using a stretch sensor knit from a stainless-steel & polyester yarn “sensor yarn”.

    Photos >> https://www.flickr.com/photos/plusea/albums/72157713915361228

    The stainless steel fibers in the yarn are short, and the electrical resistance between them is high (when relaxed <1M Ohm). And when you stretch the yarn the resistance goes down bellow 1K Ohm (depending on the length of yarn you are measuring across).

    steel + polyester blend yarn from bekaert
    >> bekaert.com/

    silver thread from karl-grimm:
    >> karl-grimm.de/

    strong elastic
    It is important that the elastic you use is strong so that it will contract when you breathe out, even though there is the friction of the band against your skin or clothing.

    a band or belt
    In these photos I use a simple cotton strap and small buckle but you can also use a much thicker & sturdier strap. Even cut up an old belt.

    (a buckle)

    regular sewing thread

    sewing needle

    knitting needles or spool knitter


    Textile Sensor Breathing Belt

    the elasic shorter than the length of your sensor folded in half. you fold it in half only to have both ends on the same side to make it more convenient to connect to later on.
    Textile Sensor Breathing Belt

    the elastic into the band.
    Textile Sensor Breathing Belt

    with conductive thread to attach the sensor to the band but also to make an electrical connection between one end of the sensor and a pad further along the band.
    Repeat for the other end of sensor.
    Then sew the mid-way point down on the other side of the elastic with some regular thread. Make sure the sensor is taught (slightly stretched) even in the relaxed position. This will give you more stable sensor readings because when the thread is completely relaxed (in it’s resting state) the fibers wiggle around making contacts and changes in resistance.
    Textile Sensor Breathing Belt
    Textile Sensor Breathing Belt
    Textile Sensor Breathing Belt

    after adding on some buckles or you can also simply tie the ends of the band together, you are done! And should have something that looks like this:
    Textile Sensor Breathing Belt

    use a multimeter to measure the resistance-range of your sensor.

    Write down:

    R(min): resistiance in resting state: ______________

    R(max): resistiance in stretched state: ______________

    Choose a value for building the VOLTAGE DIVIDER. You will need to build this to translate change in resistance into change in voltage, because the Arduino can only read a change in voltage!

    R(voltage divider): pick a value mid-way between your min and max!

    to the pads with gator clips and wire them to an arduino. If you have a 10K, 50K or 1MOhm potentiometer, use this to build your voltage divider. This way you can tweak Otherwise you can

    Textile Sensor Breathing Belt

    use this Arduino code example to analogRead(); the values of the sensor:
    >> https://www.arduino.cc/en/tutorial/AnalogInput

    and see what values you get.
    Textile Sensor Breathing Belt


    Made for Boris’s Trombone Breathing Vest:
    >> https://www.kobakant.at/KOBA/trombone-breathing/
    >> https://www.flickr.com/photos/plusea/41226413250

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