Spin Switch

For my innovative switch I created a yarn tassle that triggers a LED strip when spun. The inspiration behind the switch came from my background in figure skating. I imagined this to be used when skaters spin and LEDs in their outfits would be activated.


To start, I looked at Leila’s J-Lo spinning toy and did some experiments with springs to understand how to make a connection with centripetal force. Then I learned how to crochet with Natsuki and worked with her to create templates that made stretchy yarn tubes. To make the switch I crocheted conductive yarn into regular yarn and attached hex nuts to give weight at one end. When pulled the resistance in the yarn tube’s conductivity decreases because the yarn is more tightly held together.

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From there I used the yarn tube as an analog switch to monitor the change in resistance. When pulled the resistance of the switch went from 1000 to under 900. I programmed the change to signal the turning on of an LED. Then I altered the code on a NeoPixels LED strip to create a color swipe.

int ledPin = 9;
int sensorPin = 0;
int threshold = 800;

void setup()

void loop()
if (analogRead(sensorPin) < threshold) {

void rainbow(uint8_t wait) {
uint16_t i, j;

for(j=0; j<256; j++) {
for(i=0; i<strip.numPixels(); i++) {
strip.setPixelColor(i, Wheel((i+j) & 255));
if(analogRead(sensorPin) > threshold) {
// Set all LEDs to black
for(i=0; i<strip.numPixels(); i++) {
strip.setPixelColor(i, 0,0,0);

// delay(wait);

The best part of this process was bringing together the NeoPixels LED strip and the analog stretchy switch. I learned to how for loops work and how to break them so that the LED strip turns off once the switch returns to its original, un-pulled state. Because my main goal for the class is to better understand code, I felt like this part of the process was the most challenging and rewarding.


I also learned to hard wire my wires and switch, but ultimately failed to make the full connections. For the final demo, I ended up using masking tape to hold down all the wires on my breadboard and quickly sewed a pocket belt to encase the parts.

To move forward I’d have to find a way to make this switch wearable and stable so that the centripetal force from the spinner causes the switch to pull. For now, swinging the switch works just fine.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/111701202″>Making Studio: Centripetal Force Switch</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/edenlew”>Eden Lew</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Light Slide (Oscar de la Hera Gomez)

Greetings !

Todays project concept was to create an innovative switch that activates when a ball passes by it. This idea was originally inspired by the following video, which incentivised me to create an electronic musical ball slide, which would activate when the ball would hit the step, causing the step to light up.

The initial project sketches for the musical slide are shown below and involved a series of components which would act as support for the slide. LED strips would be placed in a smaller inner piece, which would be activated via Arduino when the infrared sensors would be triggered. This inner piece was split into two parts to ensure that it could be supported by the inner structure. Additionally,  the components that would hold this inner piece would include a small hole at the bottom of the frame, to allow the wires to go through, with the intention of cloaking the majority of the design.



The components were then designed in Illustrator to the measurements from the sketches and were laser cut to ensure maximum accuracy. The results of this process is shown below !


The next stage of the process was the most challenging of all. How would I bend the plastic to ensure that it would match the laser cut curve ? Although I admit that I should have first bent the plastic and then laser cut the curve, I must say that this experience was extremely rewarding and satisfying. The process shown below demonstrates how the curve was achieved and is the result of four attempts !

The ‘centerpiece’ was place between a jig in such a way that the curve start point would match the edge of the jig. The piece was duct taped to the jig to ensure that little movement would occur.

Placing the Center Piece

The pipe was the attached to the jig and was placed in such a way that the centreline matches the line drawn of on the on the centrepiece. The piece was then heated up until it began to bend and was then adjusted very slowly, applying pressure from ‘centreline’-up to ensure a perfect bend.

Heating the centrepiece

For those attempting to replicate this process, please be patient. One must heat up and cool down the component various times to ensure a perfect curve. The result of this process is shown below.

That curve.

And as promised, the curves matches the bend !


Aligned to perfection.

It was at this point that I had to redesign the slide as the initial components would not allow the infrared components to sit at the right points. So I decided to scrap the inner components and go for a hollow design. Additionally, due to budget issues I decided to use big LEDs instead of LED strips as they would not require an alternate 12 V power source and could run of my computer power. Finally, due to losing my code in the last second I could not include the musical effect when the lights were triggered.

The next step involved putting all the pieces together. This was done using a duct tape to hold the piece at the right place and a glue gun to stick the parts together.

IMG_20141106_121416_edit1 IMG_20141106_121423_edit1


The components were then soldered to wires and were taped onto the holes to ensure that I could reuse the components at a later date. The LEDs where then also soldered onto wires and taped on off the sensors to allow them to hang off in the air, in the middle of the design, allowing maximum illumination.

Soldering the LEDs

Here is the final result!

Somni Lamp (Isioma’s Innovative Switch)

The brief for this project was to explore innovative switches and user stories. I am, as a newly initiated graduate student, rather short on sleep, and often go to bed jittery, either dwelling on the day I had, or the projects I have due in.

I designed the lamp that would help center a user’s thoughts and mood before bed. It is supposed to initiate a meditative pause before he or she succumbs to exhaustion, thus guaranteeing a good night’s sleep. It is a soothing, ethereal light that is able to provide calm to the user if or when woken up  during the night.


The Lamp Structure:

1.  Soldered, galvanized steel frame. It was a little difficult to solder the steel at first, so I sanded down the touch-points: that helped.

2. I used urhyu paper – the texture is beautiful and also as dream-like as the light emanating from the lamp.

3. I soldering together two ultra-bright white LEDs

4. I used a photo-resistor as well as an ambient light sensor.

5. I modified the photo-resistor code found on Adafruit. This meant that the LEDs would burn brighter in low light, and be dimmer in bright light. This I controlled using the serial monitor function; I was able to calibrate the light response by restricting the input range.

This was fun! I enjoyed making something I would definitely use in real life.

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NightPack by Marianna Mezhibovskaya

I just bought my first road bike this summer and have been super stoked to ride around the city. I am still really hesitant about riding at night though, so my innovative switch is about better visibility at night.

Using a killer Addressable RGB Neopixel strand, conductive velcro, some solder, hot glue,
thread, and the collective brain power of friends Souvik Paul, Jon Lung, and Tak, I made this

NightPackswitchThe switch is simply  two wires hot glued onto two squares of conductive velcro that initiate the Arduino coded lights when pressed together. The velcro is conveniently placed on either end of the front chest straps. One wire runs to ground and the other runs to Digital Input pin 2.


NightPackProcessAfter testing a small strand, I sewed my neopixels into the pieces of fabric loosely matching the shape of my front backpack pockets.



I had lots of issues with the Arduino code but thanks to all of the help I managed to get this bag fairly close to what I wanted. Pretty late in the game I found that the conductive fabric needs to be under substantial pressure for the code to register the switch and loop continuously. Also once the velcro is detached the lights need to finish their current cycle before they turn off. I unfortunately did not have the time, but plan to investigate adding an interrupt into the code.

I would also like to add lights to my helmet and be able to activate both with a simple switch….maybe even some sweet lights on my bike frame!

Innovative Switch

oh boy here we go!

I’ve always had running nose problems since I came to NY due to the seasons. So then I realized what if I can measure the temperature from outside with buggers. I sculpted a nose and programmed my arduino to be temperature sensitive. This is how the nose works: When the bugger is blue/ Frozen the temperature is lower than normal in the room. And when it turns the color to yellow then it’s warm again.

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Innovative Switch – Potable or Not Potable?!

Communicate with others without having to speak… According to Lou van’t Riet, in Belgium potable is slang for date-able and not potable means not date-able!

I designed pants with conductive fabric above and below the knee areas. When you cross your LEFT leg over the right, you can signal YES (potable) with a green light. Cross your RIGHT leg over the left leg, and signal a NO (not potable).

Concept Sketch for pants
Conductive fabric on front of pants
Conductive fabric on back of pants
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Wires are embedded in folded flaps on conductive fabric. They are also stitched at the end with conductive thread to ensure contact. Prototype: patches are wired to LED lights on Arduino which light up when legs are crossed.
Wiring the LED lights to be embedded into belt to go on pants.
Red LED light on belt

For the final prototype, the lights on the belt were changed to blink every half second to be more noticable.

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Right leg cross…. POTABLE!
DSCF9173 1000px red
Left leg cross… NOT POTABLE!

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/111078810″>20141106 012543</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user32259124″>J C</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

House Shoes. Innovative switch door mat for the Fujita Family.

We have a shoeless house. My wife tends to wear her house shoes out of the house to take out garbage or run down to the laundry room. We both are in agreement that this shouldn’t happen but sometimes she forgets. This mat will help remind her in a magical way!

I began first investigating her foot placement on the mat when she exits our place. unnamed-6 unnamed-7 unnamed-8 unnamed-9

I worked with Becky Stern on a simple design that might work.unnamed-5

Then I got busy on the sewing machine. CONDUCTIVE FABRIC IS DA BOMB!!!unnamed-1 unnamed-2 unnamed-3 unnamed-4 unnamed

I attached conductive fabric to the base of the shoes and added copper tape to connect the entire sole. unnamed-10 unnamed-11

I have prepared a video to please you all…

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/111062520″>House Shoes</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/storiesforpaloma”>Stories For Paloma</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

The future of this project would be to add my voice to the mat, possibly encouraging her gently to  “go and grab your outside shoes”. I had also thought about rumblers being attached to vibrate the users feet when stepped on.

“Be Seen” Video

“Spark” serves as a multi-functional bike lock and bag that lights up people’s curiosity and awareness of their environment.







Script for “Be Seen”

“Be Seen”

By Miguel Olivares

Scene 1


Wide angle

Male enters screen to unlock his bicycle.

(Upset for having a long day)

Close up

Bike lock and lack of light,

Wide angle Zoom out

Male places bag down, and starts to unlock the chain.

(struggles becomes frustrated)

Wide shot

Places bag over shoulder, as he gets up he gets bump by female.


Wide Shot

Female exits screen (Annoyed), Male one follows


Scene 2


Wide angle

Male enters screen to unlock his bicycle.

(Upset for having a long day)

Close up

Bike lock and focus on red light,

Wide angle Zoom out

Male places bag down, and starts to unlock the chain.

(struggles becomes frustrated)

Wide shot

Places bag over shoulder.Female enters scene before bumping into him she notices the light.

Close up (Top to Center)

Female face down to bike lock on bag

Wide Shot

Male and Female begin Conversation.

Female: “Almost didn’t see you”

Male: “ I glad you did”

Female smiles

Male: “ Want to grab a drink?”

Female (Enthusiastic romantic) : “Yes!”

Female and Male exit screen (Happy), Male in foreground showing product


storyb 2

story b1

Innovative Espresso Switch

This week I was tasked with designing an innovative switch.
While at brunch in Park Slope I saw a person put out a set of glass and metal espresso mugs with metal saucers.  I put down my mimosa and went to retrieve them.   The metal and act of removing the espresso mug from the saucer make the perfect parts of a switch.

SuppliesI used alligator clips to connect the batter place and led to the espresso saucer and mug.  When the mug is on the saucer it completes the circuit turning on the led.

photo 1 photo 4 photo 3photo 2

Check out the instagram video below!


Switches and Innovative Switch



Magnetic Switch


whiteboard with yellow note for a message

I wanted to make a switch with magnets. The idea was that the magnets which are put on magnetic boards with notes, pictures etc should light up when the two magnets come in contact with each other. The problem is that craft magnets generally dont conduct electricity, unless they are covered with a metallic surface.