Musical Hands

Mustafa Abdel Fattah and Daniel McAdam

Musical Hands

Atelier I: Discovery 001


Experiment 1.2: Touch As Interface – Touch Interface Prototype


Click to View Official PDF Report and Documentation

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Atelier I: Discovery 001

Touch Interface Prototype

Katrina Larson (3159289)

Julianne Quiday (3155370)

Pandy Ma (3157657)


Sept, 28th, 2017


SynthCube Prototype



For this project we wanted to experiment with sound. We found ourselves watching videos of people making different songs with something called a MIDI, and so we tried incorporating that into our prototype. That’s how we invented the SynthCube. We combined sound with touch by making a fox plush cube that acted like a synthesizer. We created buttons out of conductible fabric and styrofoam sheets, attached them to the sides of the plush, and figured out the wiring and coding to go with it so that every time you press a side it would make a sound.




*In the circuit diagram above, the button represents all of the fabric buttons in the plush toy. Due to excessive wiring, the circuit shown is only one of several of the same circuits.*




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The following images show the process of making our fox plush. We began by modifying an existing pattern to suit our chosen animal, and began cutting out the pieces from orange and white fleece material.





Part 1: Creating the Fox

We modified a pre-existing cube plush pattern to look like a fox. Our first work day was spent cutting out the pattern and sewing it together into an open net. Details such as the ears, tail, and paws were then stuff for aesthetic purposes only. It added to the overall cute plush toy appeal that we were aiming for. We used a sewing machine to do the larger stretches such as the sides and attaching the two pieces of the tails. We hand sewed the facial details and the feet as these were more details and required a steady hand and plenty of attention.


Part 2: Initial Wiring

The first concept was to use a capacitive sensor that would be connected to each of the fabric buttons. We wanted to use the capacitive sensor to make the buttons sensitive to lighter taps. Unfortunately, the sensor made it too sensitive, and began to trigger itself. After this realization we removed the capacitive sensor and began rewiring without it.


Part 3: Button Creation

Our buttons are comprised of two squares of conductive fabric and a piece of foam sandwiched between them. The foam has rows of holes in it that allow the two pieces of fabric to make contact and complete the circuit (triggering sound).


Part 4: Secondary Wiring

For testing purposes only, we replaced the speaker with an LED as they are less finicky and give instantaneous results. We created a circuit on breadboard that used our fabric button as an input and an LED as an output. Following this we wanted to sew the fabric buttons to the stretch conductive, but unfortunately we did not have enough fabric to proceed. Another issue was that we only had 3 speakers connected which caused the sound to not work correctly.


Part 5: Tertiary Wiring

Our final set up included 5 fabric buttons and 5 speakers. We ironed conductive cloth onto the inside of the plush fabric and then sewed the foam middle section and the other side of the conductive fabric to the plush. Critically, we made the middle section larger so that when we sewed the fabric the two conductive fabrics will not be pulled together. Each button was then attached to its own speaker through the breadboard which allows for all sounds to be used at once.


Part 6: FInishing it Up!

With the wiring worked out, we added a cardboard cube to the inside to fill out the shape and house the arduino in the inside. We sewed up the sides and then added velcro to close the top section, which allows access to the arduino.


There were many challenges we ended up facing during the process. When dealing with the code, it was frustrating to not be able to figure out what was going wrong. One button was coded well so assumably the codes for the other buttons should have been identical since they were all the same wiring, however, getting the arduino to recognize that was a hassle.

We also found a lot of problems with the physical plush toy: the wires kept unplugging and the the ones attached to the sides kept unsticking from the electrical tape. The battery was also acting up a lot seeing as it would turn off at random times even when there would be sources getting power from it to keep it on. The holes that we made o the styrofoam dividers were also too small which was a surprise, since we thought thta making them too big would make the buttons too sensitive. So, we had to poke bigger holes.



Since a lot of our inspiration came from the MIDI keyboard and various synthesizers, much of the resources we used were YouTube videos. After all, it’s hard to do a sound project if you don’t familiarize yourself with physical sound sources first.


Starboy by the weeknd feat daft punk | cover.” YouTube, uploaded by ysmn, 23 September 2016, .


“Arduino Speaker Tutorial.” YouTube, uploaded by LearnEDU, 4 July 2015, .


“Crazy Synthesizer Demo.” YouTube, uploaded by Doctor Mix, 19 November 2015, .


“8 Bit Relax | Chiptune, Chip Music, Instrumental.” YouTube, uploaded by Music Break, 2 May 2015, .


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MSBM: Mad Samurai Beat Machine

Mad Samurai Beat Machine

Harit Lad, Tristan Santos, William Selviz


Prototype Description

An intuitive and interactive interface that allows musicians from all levels and backgrounds to improvise and build their own percussion beats.

Circuit Layout or Circuit Schematic

Prototype Sketch

Fig 1. Prototype Diagram

The image above denotes the circuitry for one functioning button utilizing a 5-pin capacitive sensor, two breadboards, one Arduino, and a laser-cut casing box (not visible). We envision the next version of this product will have more capacitive sensor pins to trigger multiple buttons at once.


Supporting Visuals


The supporting code for this project can be found HERE

Supporting Visuals


Fig 2. Plywood, laser-cut box made with Makercase


Fig 3. Mad Samurai Logo and button layout (Inspiration)


Process Journal

Fig 4. Brainstorming

September 19

  • We created our group and flushed out ideas for what we want to do.
  • Came to some conclusion of creating a sampling machine.
  • Tristan sourced out code for the interaction (OUTPUT) via Processing.
  • William and Harit made design concepts
  • We delegated responsibilities between group members


Fig 5. Arduino and Breadboards

September 21

  • Further went into detail of who was responsible for what, and specifics on what that group member had to get for next class (Priority list / responsibility list)
  • Completed and polished design for laser cutting
  • Presented pitch to class, received feedback from classmates and instructor, use some feedback as things to look at
  • Made decisions on material choices for prototype


Fig 6. Casing

September 26

  • Tristan is creating the code through processing
  • Harit is formatting and modifying the wooden frame and also working on documentation
  • William is doing some more material explorations and assembling in addition to physical design
  • Figured out interface of the prototype
  • Completed design for the full prototype, ie what the interaction is going to be, the code is basically complete (additions to the sound file) and assembling is going to be done tomorrow.  
  • Documentation for circuit, sketches, experimental materials, pictures (panels, circuit)
  • To do; polish code to single pin, circuit diagrams, write the blog post
    • Compile everything into organized files
    • Label and name everything  


Fig 7. Casing Pt. 2


September 27

  • Harit and Tristan got together and established the design for the wiring and layout of the circuit within the box itself
  • Tristan tested the new code for the prototype -> a successful breakthrough to that there could be an addition and new things added to the code such as visuals and other cool things.
  • Created a framework for the “buttons” to be properly visible by somebody
  • Made a split wiring for the Ground to the circuit itself separating the circuit
  • Tested and successfully passed the test and allow output to be used. For the test we used aluminum foil taped on the canvas and when the canvas is stretched all the way, tapping on the selection that has the aluminum foil on allows the user to activate the song trigger.
  • William designed, tested and cut out the canvas cover with electrical paint.
  • Finally, he compiled, designed and branded all the documentation for blog post and pitch.


Project Context & Bibliography

This project was inspired by our mutual curiosity for sound and creativity. We agreed that creating a beat generator was something tangible for the timeframe and would also bring a lot of possibilities down the road. There are dozens of sound libraries that can be imported and programmed. We developed this product keeping students and low-income individuals in min since Midi boards aren’t cheap. Our design process was very ‘straight-ahead’, meaning one idea built upon another until the final design came about. We see a lot of room for growth and decided to make a prototype that would showcase the possibilities in future versions.

The code was referenced from the audio player example built into Arduino (AudioPlayer). Our current prototype includes conductive paint in its logo, and we plan to use this as the interface for more buttons in the future. The idea was inspired by this video.


Fig 8. Conductive paint in action.
We always find ourselves tapping our legs, arms or desks when listening to a song, and this device allows us to experiment with concepts further. We consider this a “sketching tool for musicians” meaning it can help them envision what adding percussion to a melody would sound like, in a very fast and intuitive approach.

Other devices out there, such as the PO-12 Inspire a world of possibilities and inspires us to further develop something compact, customizable and limitless. We hope to take this to the next level with more time and resources *insert IndieGoGo campaigng link here*


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Touch As Interface(Group 01)

Power Glove

Natalie Le Huenen, Thomas Graham, Erika Masui Davis

Prototype Description

The power glove is a input device that has the potential to allow you to make 14 possible inputs using the gesture of contacting different fingers to the thumb on one hand. This works by the glove having a pressure-sensitive piece of fabric on each fingertip, and a conductive fabric on the thumb. The input is created by connecting the thumb fabric through a wire to the voltage, and each finger to a arduino pin/voltage divider which is connected to ground, thus creating a complete circuit upon a finger and thumb touching. The various inputs can be possible because the pressure sensor allows us to give the computer additional information, and each finger circuit as well as all the possible multiple circuits can be recognized as different inputs. 

Along with the power glove, we created an output that could showcase its capabilities. This output is a game that features a bland body in a 3D environment and generates different facial features upon detecting input. There are 30 facial features in total that all get randomized in size, resulting in quite a few possible results.

For this prototype, the glove was made fairly successfully – it was able to detect different finger inputs(although the middle and index finger had a weak signal) and multiple finger inputs and display a reading of the status of each finger on the computer. The game was finished as well, but we were not able to completely implement it with the glove due to problems with our code in Unity.

Circuit Layout or Circuit Schematic



Supporting Visuals

Displaying Pic02.pngDisplaying Pic03.pngDisplaying Pic05.png


Process Journal

September 19th 2017 – Brainstorming

We brainstormed input and output ideas whilst finding other projects that were similar to our ideas. We created three lists; input, output and discovery and put in rough concept points for each which we summarized at the end:

Input Ideas

  • Conductive fabric
  • Glove => controller for unity
  • Glove => mouse /possibly keyboard
  • Thumb is ground, other finger is connected to sensor
  • Purchase work glove for adjustable size and pre-made base glove
  • Hand is large button, thumb is sensor and fingers are conductive material that send a signal when touched with glove.
  • 4 pins, different output,  4 keyboard/controller/mouse inputs
  • Variable voltage/cell battery/less fabric-> less resistance
  • Always sending 4 float values ///or pair set of values(active+current value)//
  • Sewing machine/fabricating (master Nat)
  • Pressure detective setup for each pin/finger.

★ In summary: Connect arduino to unity with keyboard output using a glove that has 4 outputs through the sensor on the thumb and 4 conductive pieces on each finger.

Output Ideas

  • Feedback is for specific program(?)
  • Use fermata to connect Arduino and processing/unity/other output program
  • USB connect to computer, connect to Unity
  • Dating anime characters/snapping/
  • Possibly make it keyboard
  • Get keyboard and break it open
  • Create unity output(game or something)
  • Unity 4 keyboard game
  • Interactive aquarium

★ In summary: Create Unity game/interactive media that works with the keyboard inputs made by the glove.


  • The possibility of a Unity/Arduino Connection. This inspired us to use Unity as an output source, as we have some experience with it.  
  • The discovery of a device of similar concept, an ergonomic glove mouse: influenced us to change our project direction from a mouse output to a keyboard, as this product is already available for $129 USD, and we wanted to experiment with a slightly new/different contraption.
  • Available online tutorials for a Live2D(animation software)/Unity Connection provided us with the possibility of creating animations to suit our project vision for our Unity interactive media/game output.
  • Various glove making options/processes introduced us to  different fabrics that can be used for the glove:
  • Looking at these references also allowed us to find rules, such as- “When purchasing conductive fabric the unit of resistance will be listed as Ohm/Sq or Ω /▢, meaning Ohms per Square.This unit of measurement calculates the sheet resistance of a material.” 
  • We also made discoveries by ourselves from discussion and analyzing – such as the decision of conversion for 2 types of USB inputs(image above).


  • One challenge was deciding on a core concept/methods of input/output as there were many options.
  • Another challenge was to consider working within limits as some ambitions were not possible with the limits of the arduino – although some parts could be improvised

September 20th 2017 – Starting the Prototyping of the prototype

  • We created a rough prototype using wires, a rubber glove, coins and electrical tape. This glove was made to get a idea of the circuitry required to make a sensor-glove.
  • Two versions of the prototype were made, one with coins as contacts, which did not fit well with the organic form of the hand inside a glove.
  • The second version had pressure-sensitive fabrics as contacts, which blended much better to the glove.
  • Alligator clips were used to switch between different components(such as LEDs) as they allowed quick switches and more experimentation.

Displaying Pic01.png

September 21st 2017 – Creating a Concrete Base

Group Discussion and Feedback Notes

  • (Suggestion) to narrow ambitions and simplify project to fit time frame
  • Borrow a projector + extend wires to add space from glove and laptop
  • Since there was too much noise in the glove/arduino connection, we received the advice of using the internal ground resistor in the arduino from the teacher
  • The “Internal pullup resistor” could be downloaded from the arduino website, when setting pinmode input_pullup =>it activates tiny resistors inside arduino=//and instead of connecting to power, it must connect to ground.
  • Using stiff material instead of a stretchy rubber/knitted glove material was also suggested as to not risk breaking the circuit on the glove.
  • We expanded our output possibilities that were realistic – creating a interactive character with 14 reactions, creating a face generator with different 2d assets in 3d, controlling full 3d character limbs with each finger on the gloves-this could extend into 2 gloves creating a fighting simulator like sumotori dreams- and a face generator with photographs including your own face parts and faces of celebrities.
  • The decided our output to be a face generator, as we could use the pressure sensor to our advantage to increase the size of the features on the face, and change the facial elements when pushing different fingers against the thumb(this also seemed like the most amusing option).

Displaying Pic01.png

September 25th – Working on the final project and problem-solving

  • Problem: When connecting the glove to the arduino, it did not work.
  • Cause: There was too much noise, the alligator clips and insecure connection were most likely at fault.
  • The arduino/computer(Unity) connection went well: the function of requesting change upon detecting change and using a grow function upon detecting the same input went successfully(2 arrays that inform the computer of their states, which will be later increased to follow each finger on the glove)
  • Problem: Using a material that would give a good connection between the arduino and glove. (possibly aluminum, hot glue gun(insulator))
  • Solution: Using the original prototype glove as a reference to circuitry and recreating the same circuit using better connection, void of alligator clips to get better signal, on a new glove.
  • Testing one finger of the first prototype glove did not work at first(which we assumed was due to poor connection) but adding the correct resistor(lower) allowed the connection to work (10k).
  • New problem- adding in all the fingers(input) resulted in just one pin responding despite there being connections to different Pins on the arduino.
  • Problem-solving: Perhaps there’s a problem in code(?)
  • (during problem-solving)We also realized – to prevent circuit from going backwards, a diode must be added.
  • Solution: Upon asking the teacher, we were suggested to add a resistor for each pin.
  • Coding challenge: When trying to make a variety of outputs, and different outputs for multiple types of input, it was difficult to make the computer to have conditions for inputs that involve the same pin to create a specific output.(when you want one input to do one thing and multiple inputs including that input to do something specific)
  • Problem: When sowing on the glove, the material was too thick and caused friction and to get it through just one side of the glove and not both.
  • Solution: Using a coin inside the glove so the needle is directed upwards.

September 67th – Working on individual components of the project

  • Finishing drawing all the visual assets for the output game.
  • Sowing the final glove to conductive material.
  • Coding the game.

September 27th- Putting things together

  • We shared our work on the finished assets, and tried to complete the final circuit by combining the glove-area circuit and arduino-computer circuit. We imported all the art assets into the game and modified it as well.
  • Using the new circuit on the new glove, we tried to connect it to the arduino and tried to get it to detect inputs to generate outputs.
  • Problem: The change in voltage that the glove made was too little for the computer to detect.
  • Solution: We changed the resistor to 220k(after experimenting and using a multi meter several times) and rearranged the circuits(We had another classmate aid us).
  • Unfortunately, our project would go back from working to not. We succeeded in getting signals from the glove and completing the game, but we could not fix the code in order to integrate the inputs created by the glove into the game.

Displaying Pic01.png

Project Context & Bibliography

Our project explores the nonstandard forms of input using natural tools such as the human hand.

Early on, we were thinking of the possibilities of this project becoming an ergonomic mouse. We discovered that a Canadian firm Deanmark Ltd.  had created the AirMouse, which is a “wireless mouse that utilizes an optical lazer” that “works by aligning itself with the ligaments of your hand and wrist” and “keeps your hand in a neutral position, and transmits more of your vector force than would be possible with a regular mouse”  which “make it easier on your hand,” as well as “increase your mousing speed and accuracy”(Coxworth, 01).  Additionally, this glove can currently be purchased for $US129.00. This discovery made us lose interest in developing the glove for the purpose as an ergonomic mouse, as concepts that were more competent were already developed and sold.

Another project our glove is similar to is the power glove made by Nintendo, which “can either provide information on its absolute position (location in space) or relative motion (like a joystick). In addition to hand position, the Glove also independently senses the position of each finger except the little finger.”(Williams, 02) How these capabilities are possible, are explained by so by Williams: “To determine its location and orientation, the Power Glove emits an ultrasonic pulse from one of two transmitters located on the Glove unit. The Glove measures the time delays between its transmission of a pulse and the reception by each of three receivers in the sensor array. Using the speed of sound in air, the Glove position is computed via three-dimensional triangulation. The difference in the locations of the transmitters is used to compute the rotation (roll) of the hand.” Despite being released in 1989, the capacities of this glove are surprising. Though the concept of our glove, of using hand gestures for game interfaces are similar, the way in which we create data are completely different. Our glove has a much simpler construction, and cannot create all the data the Nintendo Power glove can, but is made of much cheaper materials, provides different data(pressure) and has the potential to made 14 total outputs. We also believed the original game aspect of this project could make this project a little more unique and fun.

Conclusively, we wanted to create a interesting and unusual experience using the material introduced in class. Our further concept was to explore nonstandard forms of input using natural tools such as the hand. This is why we wanted the glove to feel natural, sewing on the wires on the glove instead of clipping/gluing/taping them on. We also sowed the sensors and conductive fabric carefully, inverting the fabric after sowing it and applying a simulated silk fabric on the inside of the fabric to make the glove feel more comfortable. The assets for game were also all made with hand-drawn artwork by one of the group members, to emphasize this project as being a art project, and to make the game more unique. We also adjusted the coding in the game to make the character seem like it is breathing, which helped make the game more strange, and create a more interesting experience.



Williams, Marie., Green, Paul., “Interfacing the Nintendo Power Glove to a Macintosh Computer “, 1990, The University of Michigan.

Coxworth, Ben., “Airmouse – The mouse that fits you like a Glove”, 2010, New Atlas.


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Interactive dress

group members

Ziyi Wang

Anran Zhou


Prototype Description

an interactive dress that generates different led patterns when users touch different part of their body.


Circuit Layout or Circuit Schematic



Circuit for pressure sensitive textile and rgb leds. We hope to generate different colours for our four RGB leds, so we are using two Arduino Uno to control four RGB leds since each RGB led needs three pwm pins and there are only six pwm pins on each Arduino. We also use a voltage-divided circuit for the pressure sensitive textile to detect the value.




Besides, we also use one lilypad main board (which work exactly the same as Arduino Uno) to control those fading leds, which also help to lighten the burden on  our dress. Each led has one pin connected to PWM pins, and the other one is connected to GND. They are fading in different frequency just like breathing by themselves and do not need  interaction with people.


Code uploaded to GitHub


Code for sensors(pressure sensitive textile) and RGB leds

Code for fading leds

Supporting Visuals

_mg_3826   wechatimg9




Process journal

The plan


design sketch for the dress


Later on, we decided on the topic of interactive dress. We got the inspiration from fancy and weird looking designers dress that celebrities wearing during special occasions. We want to make something that is pretty and wearable, with special effects that technology can bring.

We decided to add light and interactions on the dress.

Ideally, the dress can be actually worn, and leds will glow on it.



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Material used

  • two arduinos
  • one lilypad
  • wires
  • alligator clips
  • pressure sensing material
  • resistors
  • leds
  • rgb leds
  • paper
  • Adhesives (glue, glue gun, epoxy glue)
  • Copper tape, transparent tape, pliers, rulers, other tools 

Material decisions

Constructing materials

We decided to form the dress with white paper. Because it can create a clean and neaty effect, which really speaks to our concept. Also, the folded paper have some hardness, which is best use to form the shape, and can also cover up all the wires and sensing materials. We did think about other materials like tin foil, metallic paper, plastic bottles, or newspaper, but nothing works as well as white paper.


At first we only have two arduinos, one for the faded effects, and the other one for sensing and interactions. But since we are adding more rgb leds, we found that there were no enough room for the legs. So we added a lilypad to control the fading effects, and each arduino connects with two pressure sensing effect.


We planned multiple sensors at the beginning, such as the distance sensors and motion sensors. But we figured that if there are too much sensors in there, the interactions might get really messy and confusing. Also the wiring might brings many problems. So we decide on the pressure sensitive textile, that can turn the textures into push buttons.


Challenge encountered

When we just start the project, we were using capacitive sensors. Because the sensor has multiple legs, it allows the led to change a lot of colors, which can be really interesting. But as we tried it out, we figured that is not really possible to do.

Because of the functions inside the sensors, it is really easy to be active by human body. Even if the legs are all covered up. And our thing is a dress, which would be worn, so there is no way to still let the whole thing work.

Meanwhile, each value detected from the the pressure sensitive textile is slightly different because of the size of each piece and the way we assembled it, so we have to test the value separately and observe the value range in order to control the output more accurately.


Rough work forming the dress


forming the structure



details of the dress



finishing the form


We started creating the form of the dress first, started with the most inside layer, then added the topping stuff on.



processing work wiring





wiring and testing


Process work of the circuit


prototype circuit of fading leds on



adding switch



Lilypad attached on the dress.

lilypad main board



Leds assembled on the inner layer.



testing materials


Project Context & Bibliography

In the last century, technology has dramatically developed and changed. A new field of technology has emerged: the wearable computing. It transformed from the conventional form: staying in the pocket or being carried in our tote, to a more body-centric technology. Nowadays, the wearable computing is also increasingly integrated with fashion design and art project. According to Susan Elizabeth Ryan, the reason why wearable technology and fashion are bound up together is that the notion of fashion is bound up with the advent of modernism, and modernism itself is also a cultural condition revolved with the technological advancement manifested in terms of industrial production, mass marketing, and urbanized society, thus fashion, modernism, and technology are inevitably bound up together.


According to New York Times, in 1883, the concept of wearable electronic art has already emerged: the illuminated ballet-girls, a troupe of ballet dancers wear electric lights on their foreheads and attach batteries on their clothing. In 1968, Diana Dew’s electronic fashion in the “Body Covering” exhibition held at the Museum of Contemporary Craft in New York city is the representation of wearable electronic art at the very early stage. Besides, one of the most important participants and contributor, MIT Wearable Group developed methods for stitching electronic circuits directly into the fabric in 1997, and MIT held the “Smart Clothes Fashion Show” which was a design collaboration between the students and faculty of Creapole Ecole de Creation (Paris) and Prof. Alex Pentland (MIT, Boston), with the goal of envisioning the impending marriage of fashion and wearable computers.


In 2007, Hussein Chalayan, as one of the fashion designers who take steps into integrating the wearable computing technology and fashion design at a very early stage, presented his futuristic fashion design in his ready-to-wear, spring 2017 show: models walked on the stage dressed in long Victorian gown and then her clothes started to twitch and shrink up to her helmet; The clothes break into parts and fall down like petals. His show provides so much engaging futuristic wearable arts and let us know how fashion could look like combined with the wearable computing.


As the group of two, both of us are really interested in wearable computing and find it so fascinating that wearables could change the way people looking at their body and provide designers new ways of thinking. It is also a really exciting field that transforms human body to the interface of a virtual world, just like what we did in our project, touching a part of your body and there is glow lighting up, which just like a new relationship between you and your body is built up. It is a really exciting. Wearables could also enhance people’s feelings, reactions and infuse so much more possibilities to our life, which is even hard to imagine in the past. We are looking forward to more great wearables coming out and having more exploration in this field!



Ryan, Susan Elizabeth. “What Is Wearable Technology Art?” Intelligentagent, Social Fabrics, Intelligentagent,


“ELECTRIC GIRLS.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 26 Apr. 1884,

SwarovskiSparkle. “Hussein Chalayan Spring/Summer 2007.” YouTube, YouTube, 27 June 2011,


TheCreatorsProject. “Flying Dresses And The Future Of Fashion.” YouTube, YouTube, 4 Apr. 2014,


Marriott, Hannah. “Could 2015 Be the Year Wearable Tech Becomes Sexy?” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 25 Dec. 2014,


“This Tech Dress Will Make You a Paper Doll #WearableWednesday #Wearabletech #Arduino.” Adafruit Industries – Makers, Hackers, Artists, Designers and Engineers!, 4 Oct. 2016,


Mower, Sarah. “Chalayan Spring 2007 Ready-to-Wear Fashion Show.” Vogue, Vogue, 3 Oct. 2006,



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Group 3:

Enna Kim 3154828

Mika Hirata 3154546

Vivian Wong 3158686

DIGF-2004 Atlier 1

Prof. Kate Hartman

DRAW ME is a unique game controller that integrates pressure sensitive fabric, two capacitive sensors, and a DIY location sensor, allowing the user to interact with an image on a screen by imitating the drawing motion with their finger and a piece of fabric. The game allows users to control and interact with certain objects shown on screen by touching and applying pressure to a pillow-like controller sensors.




Draw Me deviates from the conventions of playing digital games using hard, plastic game controllers, keyboards, mice, and trackpads. It explores how we can convert these commonly used items into one that incorporates a soft, comfortable, and organic/natural feeling through a variety of interactions.

EXPLORATION: We have experimented with fabric sensors originally because of its unique relationship with touch and immediate gratification with the result, but was not compatible with the conductive thread pattern we were intending to use. We started our project from checking the pressure sensitive fabric in a voltage divider circuit. The picture below is a semi-successful example using stretch fabric, a laptop trackpad, a breadboard, and Processing software. Here, the darker colours corresponds to a greater amount of pressure that the fabric is experiencing. The line is determined by the path drawn on the laptop trackpad. This is an early demo of our prototype.


We began exploring different options. In order for the screen to capture a live drawing, our medium required a location sensor.

Copper tape and canvas was one of our options. We fabricated our own location sensor by taping copper strips for the x and y axis. We learned that the conductive materials cannot touch one another, so we used separate sheets for each axis. 



We then realized copper tape and pressure sensitive fabric was a better solution for the effect we were aiming to reach. Also, alligator clips are a mess!

We found that canvas was a structurally sound material to absorb the conductive thread and the user’s touch.

We decided to use the capacitive sensor because of its direct interaction with touch. Once it is touched, there is a light that blinks on the sensor. This is what we found satisfying and worth exploring about the material.

CHALLENGES: We created our own location sensor with canvas and conductive thread. We explored different conductive materials like copper tape, but found it difficult to find a secure connection to the capacitive sensor. Conductive thread is a strong material that acts as an effective medium to work as a DIY location sensor. Pictured below is a prototype of winding the thread around the jumper wire. 


Finding the right materials to layer the controller with and incorporate our location and pressure-sensitive sensor was our next step. We needed to strategically layer the different components in a way that would not compromise the functionality of the pressure and touch mechanics. We needed non-conductive materials to seal the sensors, as well as the cotton stuffing.


Through research, we devised a plan in which cotton stuffing, used to enhance pressure sensitivity, was sandwiched between velostat and pressure sensitive material. In order to prevent the pressure sensitive fabric from activating the capacitive sensors through the conductive thread sewn into the canvas, we put an extra layer of non-conductive canvas between the top of the pressure sensor and bottom of the touchpad grid textile. Finally, we used neoprene-like material to cover the entire controller.

After we discovered that our hand sewn capacitive sensor grid worked with a pressure sensor underneath, we decided to use both digital and analog pins for our prototype.



The capacitive sensor input pins are connected to its appropriate conductive thread gridline. Processing could not successfully read the digital value of pins 0 and 1. Consequently, the capacitive sensor output pins are connected to digital pins 2 to 11, and for loops are written correspondingly. The pressure sensitive textile is connected to a 10K ohm resistor which is connected to analog pin 2 as input. We soldered the 10K ohm resistor to copper tape on pressure sensitive fabric for a more secure connection and to eliminate the use of alligator clips.

Unfortunately, the capacitive sensor Y’s pin 4 did not work correctly due to an unknown technical error. Pin 4’s capacitive sensing worked appropriately when the output pin was not connected to the Arduino. However, when it was connected, the output light immediately turned on.

Initially, we attempted to first code from the Arduino IDE in order to figure out how certain examples worked. Unfortunately, our limited understanding of arrays in Arduinos prevented us from achieving any successes. Luckily, transferring from Arduino to Processing solved most of our problems. Our group had a much better understanding of how arrays, index values, and for loops worked in Processing. We had to work through several trial and error processes in order to calibrate certain values such as the fill colour which depended on the pressure sensor’s analog values. Due to the massive content of code required to produce this prototype, we had to code different mechanics separately before combining them together. In chronological order, we developed the pressure colour-changing mechanic, capacitive sensor grid, conversion of textile location to on-screen position, and finally the interactive visuals.

screen-shot-2017-09-26-at-3-23-23-pmscreen-shot-2017-09-26-at-3-39-02-pm%e3%82%b9%e3%82%af%e3%83%aa%e3%83%bc%e3%83%b3%e3%82%b7%e3%83%a7%e3%83%83%e3%83%88-2017-09-27-21-49-08 %e3%82%b9%e3%82%af%e3%83%aa%e3%83%bc%e3%83%b3%e3%82%b7%e3%83%a7%e3%83%83%e3%83%88-2017-09-27-21-49-04 %e3%82%b9%e3%82%af%e3%83%aa%e3%83%bc%e3%83%b3%e3%82%b7%e3%83%a7%e3%83%83%e3%83%88-2017-09-27-21-48-52 %e3%82%b9%e3%82%af%e3%83%aa%e3%83%bc%e3%83%b3%e3%82%b7%e3%83%a7%e3%83%83%e3%83%88-2017-09-27-21-48-58 %e3%82%b9%e3%82%af%e3%83%aa%e3%83%bc%e3%83%b3%e3%82%b7%e3%83%a7%e3%83%83%e3%83%88-2017-09-27-15-54-21 %e3%82%b9%e3%82%af%e3%83%aa%e3%83%bc%e3%83%b3%e3%82%b7%e3%83%a7%e3%83%83%e3%83%88-2017-09-27-21-48-47

We first started off using a full-sized breadboard and half-sized breadboard for our controller. However, that ended up taking too much space. As a result, we made several attempts to make our controller smaller and more compact. Jumper wires were replaced with our own custom cut wires and sewn to a canvas placemat. All components were connected to one half-sized breadboard sitting next to an Arduino Uno.





The design of our custom location sensor was determined by the number of pins of our capacitive sensor. 5×5 grid made up of conductive thread, canvas, cotton and rubber to close the entire contents.


Draw Me – Final Technical CodeA:

Draw Me – Final Technical CodeB:

Draw Me – Final Visual Code:

Draw Me – Combined:


REFERENCES: used to identify the resistance of resistors the guy talking about the matrix on the fabric analog fabric joypad (our first insipration) grid made with conductive thread grid made with conductive tape(copper tape)

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Hedgy (The Unconventional Teddy)

Vivian Fu, Sydney Pallister, Tania Samokhvalova

Atelier 1 (course code here)

September 28th 2017

Experiment 1: Touch As Interface – Touch Interface Prototype

Hedgy (The Unconventional Teddy)


A colourful stuffed animal that appears ordinary, but plays sounds when its paws, feet, and ears are squeezed.

The piece contains pressure sensitive fabric in its feet, hands, and ears. These parts are connected to the Arduino and breadboard in its body, which are hooked up to a speaker. When these pads are squeezed, the stuffed animal plays a specific sound.




The initial design was a teddy bear wearing stretch sensitive clothes stitched to his body, so that sound (screaming) activates when his limbs are pulled. We also wanted the bear to have LED lights in place of its eyes which would turn different colours depending on the contact, an LED heart that blinked as a heartbeat (which increased when stretched), along with the pressure pads in his feet, hands, and ears.


These ideas changed during the process of creating it. Stretch fabric would not work, as pulling on the bear’s limbs would not stretch the material beneath the stretch fabric. We decided to get rid of the idea of stretching and pulling, and only rely on the pressure pads for sound. First step in this process was testing and altering the resistance of the pressure sensitive fabric. This is essential in making sure Hedgy responds to pressure.


Once the appropriate resistance was determined, we went on to creating the circuit for the speakers. This required an additional resistor (we have 7 1k resistors in series here), a transistor, a speaker, and an SD card adaptor. An issue we had was setting up the pins to the SD card reader properly, but this was resolved easily by messing with the pin positions.


A larger issue was getting the Arduino to properly read the music files. First we attempted to use an MP3 shield, but could not locate any appropriate libraries for it. After converting the sound files to .WAV files, we attempted to construct the WAV shield. Despite parts being soldered in the correct areas, the shield refused to communicate with the Arduino.


After removing solder and moving a piece around that may have been causing the issue, we determined that the circuit was totally unresponsive. This killed our main idea to have the stuffed animal play jarring and creepy sounds, as it isn’t possible without the WAV shield. We decided to scrap the idea and set up the speakers to use the pre-programmed sounds instead. Much less spooky than the initial idea, but the sound is still present.



To up the interest a little bit, we found the feature the Arduino has to play a coded melody of one’s own design. We created our own unique melodies for five of the sensors, the sixth one was inspired by the opening to “The Twilight Zone”.

Hedgy himself was easy to set up. First we cut a slit in his side and removed all the stuffing. Then we hot glued Velcro on the cut to ease in opening up and closing the doll when needed for readjustments (and to retrieve borrowed pieces later).


We then measured and cut out 7 pieces of pressure sensing fabric to fit inside the doll’s hands, feet, ears, and nose (we ended up not using the nose as a button ultimately due to its small size).


We secured these pieces to the doll by sewing them in along a seam to keep them relatively hidden.


Then, copper tape was attached to the pressure sensing fabric in order to connect them to the Arduino. First we attempted to attach wires to the copper tape using solder, but the copper refused to bond to it. Then we tried connecting the two with conductive tape, which ended up not being conductive enough. We decided in the end to attach the copper tape to alligator clips and tape them together (along with taping the other contacts on the breadboard). It took some experimenting to figure out how the copper tape should be connected.


We found two wood boxes to fit the Arduino and the breadboard with all the attached wiring, cutting holes in them so the wires can go between boxes. We adhered the breadboard and the Arduino to their boxes using sticky Velcro.


We recorded the range and values for each pad so we could make them all play a different sound. Ranges we got were as follows:

Right foot: Max – 720

Min – 500

Left foot: Max – 860

Min – 600

Right arm: Max – 950

Min – 500

Left arm: Max -720

Min – 450

Left ear: Max – 940

Min – 600

Right ear: Max – 900

Min – 550

We adjusted each pad to its corresponding range so that the pads would all require the same amount of squeeze to activate.


The hole in his side had to be extended down his bottom to fit the boxes in properly. We were worried about fitting all the wires in along with the rest of the hardware, but it fit perfectly. We added some stuffing back to give him back his plush feel. We did not have the time to incorporate the LEDs, as the sound was much more complicated than we had expected.


We used this tutorial ( as instruction on how to convert WAV files and have the Arduino play them. We had they idea to use sound and LEDs before reading, but we didn’t have a solid idea on how to. This tutorial only teaches how to play one sound, while we wanted to play multiple sounds from the same speaker when different contacts were pressed. Though we didn’t get the WAV files working, we did accomplish getting each contact to play a unique noise when pressed.

Here is our final code used:—Prototype

There are things we attempted to add to this document, but they were not allowed by the site. This includes videos and examples of WAV sound files we were going to use. This will be sent to you separately.

Here’s a link of it (Google Drive):

After stuffing the animal, this is the final result:


It’s fully functional and worked the way we all intended it to at the end.


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Jerez Bain, Sanmeet Chahil, Johan Seaton

Prototype Description

TetherPad is a musical interface powered by Arduino that offers an interactive sound-shaping experience using Firmata, Ableton Live, Max (Max for Live), and for this prototype, a granular synthesis engine. We envisioned the idea of creating an affordable, low-cost yet sturdy DIY pad controller to be used as an interface for live audio performance and improvisational experimentation. The TetherPad is powered by the capabilities of the Firmata library for Arduino, allowing the hardware to interface with Max for Live inside Ableton Live through the M4L Connection Kit. Ableton Live then is able to read the TetherPad’s five pressure sensitive textiles as analog input values to control mappable software parameters through touch. In our prototype, we explored the TetherPad’s response with SoundGuru’s The Mangle, a real-time granular resynthesis tool. Controlling grain rate, sample position, amplitude, and pitch of an audio sample, the TetherPad’s interface is ideal for dynamic timbral control, particularly with granular, spectral, and physical modelling synthesis techniques.

Circuit Layout

The Arduino is hooked up to a breadboard using the ground and power (5v) pins, and each individual pressure sensitive textile is hooked up to power through a 10k Ω resistor and ground. The resistive property of each individual textile is then sent to the arduino as an analog value.



With regard to code, the TetherPad only requires the standard Firmata library. You can view the exact code used to interface the Arduino here.

*initial tests paired with the 8-Pad sensor had us attempting to integrate the initialising code of the sensor with Firmata, though an issue of conflicting firmware made us rethink the use of the sensor, so we instead made all inputs analog.

Supporting Visuals

Top View dsc07646


Process Journal


When we collaboratively began brainstorming ideas for the prototype, we all came to a general consensus of wanting to create a sound-controlling interface. In this case, the ideal textile for our prototype was the pressure sensitive textile, as it generally gave consistent readings and was easily adaptable with paired with other conductive materials. Johan had extensive knowledge with interfacing Arduino with Ableton Live, so we decided that Live would be the brain of software side of our prototype.


First, we began with wiring up a voltage divider circuit and the pressure sensitive textile as an input method. Then, we connected the Arduino to Live and began troubleshooting by calibrating the sensor to communicate effectively and activate sound. Once we got it to work correctly, we were planning on including the 8-pad capacitive touch sensor as well in order for the TetherPad to create more sound effects.

8-pad and sensor

Quickly we had realised that including the Firmata code and the 8-pad touch capacitive sensor in one file wasn’t working as well as we expected it to, so we went with only the pressure sensitive textiles.


With regard to the physical layout, an early idea was to make the TetherPad’s build in installation form, using the 8-faceted pillar in the room as a surface. We realised that the pillars had quite the surface area and the amount of material required would be extensive and housing the electronics would have proved challenging. We then brainstormed a potential rotating surface as the body of the device, like a lazy-Susan or turntable, but a continuously rotating surface would have introduced some logistical issues that would have distracted the core idea. We eventually landed on the most simple and to the point rectangular planar housing for the TetherPad, the box being ideal for clean wiring inside and the the surface area large enough to facilitate more than one player. The element of play was crucial to informing the design choices from the beginning.


The two things we had to sort out when building the TetherPad were the equal cutting of the pressure sensitive textile, and a few minor modifications to the box. We began with measuring the height and the width of the TetherPad’s housing, and decided to go with a planar format of placing the pressure sensitive textiles.

Measuring TetherPad

As we only had 5 usable analog input pins on the Arduino, we measured and cut the width of each textile precisely.Measuring Textiles

Once we had cut the pressure sensitive textiles, we had to come up with a minimal way of wiring up each individual textile to power and their respective analog input pins. We had come to the idea of using nails to fixate the position of the pressure sensitive textiles and also connect the electrical current required to use each sensor.

Testing Nails

Next, we had to think of the ideal layout of the pressure sensitive textile, whether it be folded once or twice to fill the height of the surface area. After testing the signal when folding the textile once and twice, we decided that 1 fold was more ideal as two folds resulted in the unwanted upward flexing of the material.


We had hammered in each individual textile, then moved on to soldering the wires to the nails and securing the breadboard inside of the container.


We successfully soldered each wire to its respective nail, then wired it to its ideal position on the breadboard.


After connecting the wires to the breadboard, we decided on placing the Arduino inside of the box and letting a singular wire connect to the device controlling the TetherPad.


We had cut a small hole in the box to access the USB port on the Arduino wire, and had successfully finished building the TetherPad.

Final Troubleshooting.

When we went ahead and tested the TetherPad, we realised that the pressure sensitive textiles were folding in on each other, allowing the signal of one textile pass onto the other, making for unwanted triggering of sound. In order to fix this issue, we had to separate each pressure sensitive textile to a greater extent than our initial tests lead us to believe. Using electrical tape and cutting the excess material of the sides of each textile, we were able to restore more consistent and reproducible readings across all sensor pads. In order to further boost the signal, we had included the usage of aluminium foil to allow for more conductivity between each pressure sensitive textile’s conducting nails.

Project Context

The TetherPad is a musical control surface that is neither cuts corners in design, nor aims to be a replacement of more sophisticated continuous controllers such as the Roli Seaboard or Haken Continuum (HakenAudio). The primary strength of the TetherPad is its limitations; being able to quickly map parameters to 5 pads allows user to experiment quickly with control mapping, bypassing the often tedious and all too familiar process of mapping every element of expression control that is inherent with more sophisticated controllers. The more sophisticated the controller, the more that needs to be mapped manually. On the flipside, no touch controllers in the low price market offer the particular type of control that the TetherPad excels at. The Roli Seaboard Mini carries the same time consuming mapping burden as its bigger counterpart, which ends up promoting the use of presets (“Seaboard GRAND Stage”), and Keith McMillan Instruments’ Qunexus with its flat plastic surface leaves much to be desired.

As for continuous or semi-continuous controllers, the closest cousin to the TetherPad is the classic Ribbon Controller (Jones), a device that converts the pressure and position of the player’s fingers into controlled voltage data. For playability, the larger surface area and ability to map multiple parameters across the surface makes the Tetherpad’s design advantageous for users who want flexibility in addition to a soft playing surface (McPherson).

The ultimate end goal of the TetherPad’s design is to prioritise playfulness over playability, not emulating existing expressive controllers and filling the gap in the controller market for an expressive tool that is both affordable and allows for rapid customisation. Many controllers on the market favour expression at the cost of customisation or customisation at the cost of expression. The blank-slate design of the TetherPad aims to approach this dilemma in a unique and rather direct way – instead of trying to do too many things at once, the aim of the device is to do one thing very well.


HakenAudio | Overview | Introduction,

Jones, Randy, et al. “A Force-Sensitive Surface for Intimate Control.” Madrona Labs,

McPherson, Andrew. “Buttons, Handles, and Keys: Advances in Continuous-Control Keyboard Instruments.” MIT Press Journals, Queen Mary University of London,

“Seaboard GRAND Stage.” Next Generation Synthesizer | ROLI,
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Title of Prototype

Group Member A, Group Member B, Group Member C

Prototype Description

Tell us about your prototype here.

Circuit Layout or Circuit Schematic

Create a circuit layout (breadboard view) or circuit schematic using Fritzing. Make sure it is tidy. Export as an image and include it here.


Provide an active link (one that can be clicked on) to your code on GitHub. DO NOT INCLUDE CODE IN BLOG POST. The code should include a proper header that has the course code and name of this course, title of your prototype, your group member names, and any necessary attributions to code examples that you worked from. Also be sure to provide ample comments within the body of the code.

Supporting Visuals

Include any illustrations, design files, photographs, and videos that clearly document your prototype and how it works. These should be your more polished visual assets.

Process Journal

During the development of your project you must document your process, discoveries, challenges, and details to illustrate the specific technical design decisions taken during the development of the project.  The creation of these materials will help you to understand your own design process and provides a vital resource for current and future classmates to understand specific design challenges and solutions.

Project Context & Bibliography

Write about the context in which your project sits. Provide references to related articles, papers, projects, or other work that provide context for your project. This can include reading and references provided in class but should go beyond that. How do they relate to what you’ve made? Talk about this as a group and capture your thoughts in at least 3-4 paragraphs. Provide citations as needed and include your bibliography at the end.

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