I got the idea to create an artificial snake night-light because I was born in the year of the snake, and in China snakes represent mystery and delight, which hold a special meaning for me. Furthermore, with its interactive light-up function, the snake can light-up when I go dancing!
I began my project by using what we learned in class. I based my project on the “skirt” Arduino code. I adjusted the sensitivity of the sensor to recognize movement more quickly and light up in a random pattern.
Once I was sure that the lights worked, I began soldering solid wires to my flora board and connecting them to eight pixel LED lights. This was a challenge because at times I did not know which were positive and negative. When I finally got the pixels working I placed rubber shrink wrap around each of the wires to hold the connection.
Next I went through the scraps in the VFL and found a nice shiny fabric. I sewed the pieces together by hand to resemble the body and head of a snake. This took me fifteen hours in total to get the stitching correct! But the body was too loose and I wanted it to coil like a snake. Next I found several thick wires and pushed them through the body of the snake and then by hand shaped the snake body into several coils.
Once I had the shape correct, I began to sew the flora board to the inside coils of the body of the snake using conductive thread. Then I began to individually solder the wires to each of the eight pixels. This was a messy process and I got frustrated by all of the wires. Once I finished soldering all of the wires to each of the eight pixels, I began to layer them against the body of the snake. As I wrapped the wires around the snake I sewed each of the pixels to the body of the snake. The pixels are held in place with the stitching techniques that we learned in class.
The last step was to sew in the motion sensor. The snake is designed to be worn as a bracelet. Once the battery pack is plugged in and you wave your arm the snake will light up!
Enjoy the video!