Final Project Concept

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Concept#1 is musical gloves for physical therapy. Each finger gets an instrument sound, and you can play music (compose music) by bending fingers.

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Concept#2 is mittens that will warm up when you hold other people’s hand. If it is not for couples, it will be an interesting social experiment.

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Concept#3 is punching art therapy. I would love to have a wall that is made out of punching bag material and a pair of boxing gloves to punch punch punch punch punch when you get stressed out or angry. To make that action rewarding and even motivating, I want to put sensor patches behind the punching wall (in a grid) and transfer the punches as input to arduino and make them into visual output.

Hand Osteoarthritis Exercise Glove – Stretch Sensor Switch

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This is my grandmother who washed my cloth diapers by hand during the cold winter when I was a baby.  Because of all the chores and hard work she did, she developed sever osteoarthritis, especially in her hand.  During the cold weather, it gets very painful for her to even bend her fingers. This personal story inspired me to make gloves that will facilitate hand exercises needed for osteoarthritis patients.

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There are hand osteoarthritis exercising gloves and physical therapy gloves in the market, but most of them are very rigid and “machine-like.” So I wanted to explore the possibility of soft gloves that are inviting for patients to use.

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I started experimenting with conductive thread and made different thickness of single crochet chains. But, the thread I used was too conductive and didn’t work. The numbers on the multimeter changed when stretched, but arduino’s serial port was just floating.

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After my intensive Google search and YouTube videos, I learned that I need to mix regular yarn with con5. uctive thread / yarn and knit a tube using a method called spool knitting.  I ended up using three small hook screws and an empty thread spools to make my own three pin knitting spool.  And it worked in arduino serial port! The key was to divide the analogRead by  4 so that the arduino only reads from 0 – 256.

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The knitting spool I made was really shitty, so Eden and I made knitting spools in four different sizes! After many try and error, I learned that the mix of conductive thread / thin yarn with regular yarn, and the size of spools and pin numbers on the spool can change the conductivity. So far, the best thin conductive yarn I found is 316L stainless this conductive yarn / thick conductive thread from adafruit.

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I used stronger and more conductive thread to sew the my stretchy knit on to the glove, and sew them down to the bottom to connect to wires. I made sure that each line won’t touch each other.

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I cleaned up the alligator clips and made a cover to hide all the wiring.

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Each finger is programmed to one LED out put.  But… I found one issue after all the work… the glove itself is stretchy and depending on how you sew the knitting parts to the glove changes how well it works when you bend your fingers. So it works the best when you actually hold on to the bottom of the glove to let the finger parts stretch all the way. Otherwise, the LEDs won’t turn on even though the number passes the threshold way enough.

For the next future step of the project, I want explore the construction of the glove itself. I wonder if I can knit a glove and have the finger parts knitted with conductive yarn. Also, I want make the output of the bending more fun. For example, 10 different colored LED as the output to create light illuminations or have 10 piano key board sounds as output to make piano gloves. That way, it is more fun to do the exercise. If I can make one pair of gloves that works well, I would love to send it to my grandmother.

Obesity Warning Doll by Natsuki

Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years. To address that issue, I made Obesity Warning Doll that teaches children about complications related to unhealthy eating.  Childhood obesity in fact can adversely affect nearly every organ system, but I chose to high-light most common organs that can be damaged by the condition. 

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I experimented with different fabrics (cotton, jersey, felt and sheer), stocking was the best option in illustrating body fat and diffusing LED lights. I have to say… Stocking was the hardest textile I’ve ever worked with because it is not meant to be cut and sew into different shapes. At the first attempt, the organs were realistic size to its body, but they turned out to be ineffective when stuffed inside of the body.

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So, I made organs  bigger with different different colored felt.   Connecting LEDs in parallel was a lot harder than imagined.  I chose two different voltage LEDs, so when I connected them in parallel all together, the lower voltage ones turned on and the other voltage ones didn’t work. Lesson learned by failing… electricity flows through efficient route. ( Its super IMPORTANT to know voltage and amps of your LEDs!)

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To solve that problem, I made two circuits.  After sewing together all the openings in each organs I realized the positive and negative ends were touching each other in some organs causing the entire circuit NOT WORKING… So I reopened all the organs and covered the bare wires with electrical tape.

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Then, I ran into another problem where I had to deal with two switch system… I wanted to turn all the LEDs together,  so I connectd two separate circuits together and made into one conductive switch using conductive thread.

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I made sure that the wire and thread connects nicely, and used the thread to make the doll’s lip and eyes.

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I imagine the doll to be used by school nurses to teach middle school students the danger of obesity and related complications on organs. It also can be placed at school cafeterias or on a kitchen refrigerator at home to remind healthy eating.  When the doll put the McDonald’s flies into its mouth, the organs will light up to inform the viewers organs at risk.

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Plush Night Light Sketches

1. COMB JELLY

Comb Jelly

Growing up in Japan, Jellyfish and Comb jelly were something really familiar.  In a school play, I was assigned to play the role – jellyfish. So the only thing I had to do in that play was to wear a jellyfish leg costume and move like a jellyfish. But there is something really fascinating about Bomb jelly. They are oval-shaped animals with eight rows of tiny comblike plates that shines under light.

2. SOFT DOG POOP

Soft Dog Poop

I’m fascinated by the dog poop in general… then I thought what if it  was s soft stuffed poop that lights up at night? Would that make people stop for a second and think about the dog waste?

3. PINK FAT SUIT for BARBIE

Barbie's pink Fat Suit

I’m totally excited about this idea!!! In today’s society, children’s toys are really about the “look.” They even have a LED dress for barbie…. But the reality is that the obesity is becoming more serious than ever before. So! I want to make a fat suit that will light up for barbie to comment or start a conversation around  it.