During the initial ideation phase, we pondered much around the topic of exercise and how we could produce something that could help users focus more on their workouts. After considering a few issues that could have a feasible solution, we concluded that we wanted to produce a product that could track every repetition of a jumping jack that visually and auditorily provides feedback. To this end, we succeeded in producing a product that would encourage users who find themselves consistently discouraged by misremembering their number of repetitions to exercise freely with enhanced mental fortitude.
The project we are showcasing is a counting wearable that utilizes pressure sensors. These sensors are located on the shoes’ insoles, and it tracks whenever the user walks, jumps, or dances among various other activities that produce some form of pressure to the tip of the shoe. Every time the sensor is triggered, the analog sends data to the CPX, which then lights up the LEDs sequentially, indicating their current aggregate repetitions.
Sewing techniques to sew the pressure sensor as well as for connecting the circuit.
Materials Required + Purchasing Options
- Removable Shoe Insoles
- Felt (White) (Micheals – https://canada.michaels.com/en/9×12-basic-felt-by-creatology/M10572156.html?dwvar_M10572156_color=Black )
- Non-Conductive Thread (Black) (Dollarama)
- Needle (Dollarama)
- Resistor (Adafruit – https://www.adafruit.com/?q=resistor&sort=BestMatch )
- Circuit Playground Express (Adafruit – https://www.adafruit.com/product/3333 )
- Conductive Thread (Adafruit – https://www.adafruit.com/product/641 )
- Conductive Fabric (Adafruit – https://www.adafruit.com/product/1168 )
- Velostat (Adafruit – https://www.adafruit.com/product/1361 )
- Pen and scissors (Staples)
- Measure the size of the insole, and cut the conductive fabric, non-conductive fabric and Velostat. Ensure that the non-conductive fabric is the longest, followed by the Velostat which should be made to cover the conductive fabric so that the two conductive pieces are separated by a barrier.
- Use the non-conductive thread to sew them onto the felt.
- Place the Velostat in the middle and sew them together.
- Sew two stripes of the conductive fabric on each side.
- Using a glue gun, stick the pressure sensor on the tip of the insole along with the conductive fabric stripes. Glue a piece of felt in the middle of the insole.
- Place the CPX at the end of the felt, using conductive thread to connect the conductive stripes to 3.3 V, to resistor –>ground, to pin A1
- Add a non-conductive yarn at the end of the felt in order to fix the position of the CPX on top of the shoe.
- Install the insole within the shoes then pull the felt from the side of the shoe, and fasten the position by tying a knot at the other side.
- Connect the product to your power source.
- To begin, we will need to reset a couple of variables that we will be tracking including the number of jumps, sets and turns. Further, we will be specifying the total amount of reps that we would perform within a set and one turn.
- Set up four variables: “Jump”, “Reps”, “Set”, and “Turn.”
- Create an “on start” which could be found in the LOOPS category.
- Set the variables “Jump,” “Set,” and “Turn,” to 0, and “Reps” to 10.
- Set all of the colours of the pixels to black. This ensures that they are off as the circuit turns on.
- When the user begins their workout, we want the jumps, sets and turns to be fixed at zero, while the number of reps inside of a set to be ten. This is done so that every time we jump and add pressure to the sensor, it increases the number of NeoPixels that are blue by one, and they stay whatever colour we set them to until we turn them off.
- Add another variable “analogValue”, in order to read the pressure value/level
- Set up the analog Value to analog read pin A1
- Set up an if condition so that when analogValue (the pressure data) is over 1000, it changes the value of the variable“Jump” by one without any colours.
- This step is essential for accuracy as we found out that analog read is very sensitive. We encountered an error whereby when the user jumps once the value will increase to number 10.
- One set = the user jumps one time.
- Set up another “if” condition so that when the value of the variable“jump” equals the number of reps (10) and so that 10 is the number of reps we wanted to do inside of a set.
- Then set the value of variable “jumps” back to 0 so that we could track it again.
- And create a for loops, turn one of the pixels blue. And this is going to count how many jumps we have by changing the number of sets. Also, set up that it will change the number of variables “Set” by 1.
- When people jump the second time, and the value for the variable “set” has increased by one.
- Set up an if statement again. If the number of variable “Set” equal to the number of variable “Reps”, which means people jump 10 times. Set the number of variables “Set” back to 0 (Then set the number of variable “Jumps” back to 0 so that we could track it again), and reset the NeoPixels so that there’s no light lit as they were going to stay blue.
- And create a for loops, turn one of the pixels red. And this is going to count how many times we jumped 10 times we did by changing the number of the variable “Turn”. Also, set up that it will change the number of variables “turn” by 1.
- So when people jump every ten times, and the value for variable “turn” has increased by one.
- When we reach the maximum of ten turns, it will play a siren sound. It also then reset the number of all the variables “Jump,” “Set,” and “Turn,” along with the lights. This is so that if the user desires, they could start again.
Reflection & Further Development
- The pressure is not accurate enough since any source of direct non-exercise-related pressure could potentially activate the circuit. This is not ideal as it is possible for the product to read it standing and exerting pressure on the top of the shoe as a jump. Analog data is unfortunately not the best-suited option for recording data for our purposes.
- The duration of the tutorial may be longer than what was instructed in the guidelines as it takes quite some time to sew the product. However, all of the steps are generally straightforward.
- There might be a better way to attach the CPX, as well as a better way to fasten it on top of the shoes. Perhaps it could have even been on the side, not necessarily on the top.
- If you would like to explore more on the topic of acceleration in CPX, check out this informative video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ydu1KnGWjrI
- Add a button – only when the button is on, the circuit will activate.
- To use acceleration in the CPX instead of the pressure sensor as it may end up providing more accurate readings.
- It could be used on socks, or we could potentially make it a separate entity that can be placed in various other localities.
- To allow some users to define how many reps they would like to do since it is currently a fixed amount until the siren rings.
How to get what you want. (n.d.). Retrieved March 16, 2021, from https://www.kobakant.at/DIY/?p=6927
(2020, May 29). How to make an e-textile analog sensor. Retrieved March 16, 2021, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tA37mGEnPes&t=62s
Working with Analog Data, Olivia Prior, February 23, 2021, from https://canvascloud.ocadu.ca/courses/1271/pages/working-with-analog-data-25~min?module_item_id=121932