Squishy Earrings by Grace Yuan

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material-list instructions instructions-1 instructions-2

Arduino Code

https://github.com/graceyuanjq/Squishy-Earrings/blob/main/Arduino%20Code

Circuit Diagram

circuit-diagram

References

https://www.intelligentliving.co/continuity-earring-monitors-glucose-levels-diabetics/
https://applysci.com/smart-earring-monitors-heart-rate-calories-activity/
https://twitter.com/wualeds/status/1337069945306435585
https://www.instructables.com/Flexible-Fabric-Pressure-Sensor/

 

Ergonomic Monitors by Grace Yuan

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As an Interior Designer who has spent a lot of time working with furniture and space, I have a deep understanding of the ergonomic measurements of human bodies and how our bodies interact with the environment. Therefore I built the following three ergonomic monitors to help the user keep up a good ergonomic habit, stay healthy and work efficiently. All of the three prototypes are Body/Environmental Switches that are activated by the interactions between the user’s body and their environment, using LED lights as indicators.

The inspiration also comes from my real working experience. When I used to sit in the office for the entire day, my colleagues and I always reminded each other to correct the postures every time we walked past by each other’s desk. Posture is so important and also so easy to be forgotten. I hope this prototype I made can be further developed into a real product that can help computer users to stay away from any physical pains caused by the wrong posture.

1.Sitting Posture Monitor – Back

Demo GIF

demo-3-1-480-trimmed

full video: https://youtu.be/T3oyveVMJ-g

Description

Sitting Posture Monitor – Back is an ergonomic reminder that helps the user to correct their posture when sitting at a task chair. No matter it’s at home or in an office, keeping a good sitting posture is always important. There are many cases of computer users getting back pain, neck pain, and shoulder pain because of the wrong posture. Leaning against the chair back is a significant part of the correct sitting posture. By doing so, the user released the weight to the chair and gained the support of the back and the lower back. It also keeps the user’s head straight and up, preventing the user from getting neck pain. 

This device is a straightforward indicator of whether the user is leaning on the back of the chair. It is a Body/Environmental Switch that is triggered by the interaction between the user’s shoulder/back and their chair. When the user’s shoulder or upper back touches the top of the chair back, releasing pressure on the device sensor switch, the red light turned off. When the user is not leaning against the back of the chair, which means there is no pressure on the switch, the red LED light turns on, reminding the user to adjust their sitting posture. The switch is made of conductive copper tapes and aluminum foil, wrapped with acrylic felt. The felt is in a grey color which blends in with the grey mesh material of the back of the chair perfectly.

Materials and Parts

Acrylic felt
Copper tapes
Velcro tapes
Regular threads
Aligator Clips
Half breadboard
Arduino Nano 33 IOT
Extension jumper wires
Red LED light
Wires
USB cable
Aluminum foil  

Detailed Photos
img_1494 img_1499 img_1505img_1562
Discussion

Currently, the circuits and wires are all exposed which becomes a tripping hazard. For future iteration, I would solder the wires to the Arduino, and hide the wires inside the mesh back of the chair. For a more advanced application, the switch can be built in a way that is completely integrated into the chair, and the LED light will be recessed on the tip of the armrest.

2.Sitting Posture Monitor – Legs

Demo GIF

demo-3-3-480_3

Description

Sitting Posture Monitor – Legs is an ergonomic reminder that helps the user to correct their leg posture when sitting in a chair. The concept is similar to the last prototype, to monitor the user’s movement and warn them once a bad posture is detected.

From a personal perspective, I often find myself sitting with my legs crossed. This is actually a bad habit because such a position usually promotes a bad posture and can cause a temporary increase in blood pressure. With this leg position, it is difficult to sit up straight.

The monitor device is a strap to wear around the user’s thigh. As soon as the user crosses their legs, the other leg puts pressure on the one leg wearing the device, the device will be activated. A red LED light will turn on to remind the user of their leg posture.

Materials and Parts

Acrylic felt
Copper tapes
Velcro tapes
Regular threads
Aligator Clips
Half breadboard
Arduino Nano 33 IOT
Extension jumper wires
Red LED light
Wires
USB cable
Aluminum foil

Detailed Photos

img_1540 img_1554

Discussion

The device is a bit too large right now. It may be too much work for the user to wear this device. For the next iteration, I would minimize the scale and improve the design to be more flexible and portable. Another potential improvement will be the pairing the device. Based on common experience, one person would cross their legs both ways – the left leg on the top or the right leg on the top. It’s necessary to consider making the device into a pair for both legs, so the user’s leg movements will be fully detected.

3.Wrist Rest Monitor

Demo GIF

demo-3-2-480

Description

Wrist Rest Monitor is an ergonomic device that reminds mouse users to place their wrist against the surface while providing cushion to reduce the wrist fatigue. Wrist rest pads are known for reducing existing wrist pain and help prevent the user from developing Carpal Tunnel.

It is a Body/Environmental Switch that is triggered by the interaction between the user’s wrist and the wrist rest. When the user’s wrist is leaning against the wrist rest, releasing pressure on the device sensor switch, the red light turned off. When the user’s wrist is not leaning against the wrist rest, which means there is no pressure on the switch, the red LED light turns on, reminding the user to relax their wrist.

Materials and Parts

Acrylic felt
Copper tapes
Velcro tapes
Regular threads
Aligator Clips
Half breadboard
Arduino Nano 33 IOT
Extension jumper wires
Red LED light
Wires
USB cable
Conductive threads
Aluminum foil

Detailed Photos

img_1513 img_1519 img_1520 img_1521

Discussion

Alligator clips are used to power the device. For future iteration, I would solder the wires to the Arduino, hide the wires inside the wrist rest, power the circuit with a coin cell, and fill the wrist rest with more cotton for cushioning.

Arduino Code 

The first and the third prototypes:

https://github.com/graceyuanjq/Ergonomic-Monitors/blob/main/Arduino%20Code%201%263

The second prototype:

https://github.com/graceyuanjq/Ergonomic-Monitors/blob/main/Arduino%20Code%202

Circuit Diagram For All Three Prototypes

circuit

Squat Mate by Grace Yuan

Squat Mate

Project Description

As we spend most of the time at home during the Coivd-19 pandemic, the idea of home fitness and indoor workout tends to become more popular. Squatting is one of the exercises that I found extremely beneficial and can easily be done anywhere. Personally, I do squat every day for exercising and keeping myself motivated. Doing squats helps to strengthen the core and the muscles of the lower body.

Squat Mate is a wearable device that monitors the user’s posture when squat to exercise. It is designed to be worn on the top of the user’s thigh, to detect leg movement. There are three LED lights on the device to represent three modes of the signals. (1)When standing still, the yellow LED lights up to indicate that the device is turned on and the user is not moving. (2)As the user squat, the orange LED lights up, indicating the user is squatting at a proper depth. (3)If the user squats and bends their knees beyond 90 degrees, the red LED lights up and warns the user. Going below a 90-degree bend puts lots of weight on the knees and can cause injury. The goal of the device is to help the user maximize the squatting exercises safely and correctly.

The device mainly consists of a circuit and a pouch with adjustable straps. The pouch is made of acrylic felt to hold the circuit board and wires. Three LED lights are sewed on the pouch with conductive threads for connecting to the circuit with alligator clips. The adjustable straps are made of sturdy ribbons with velcro tapes sewing at both ends, allowing the user to put on the device according to their thigh circumference. The detection of the leg movements is based on the accelerometer data of the Arduino IMU sensor. It reads the bending angle of the leg and triggers the corresponding LEDs to light up. Squat Mate is a wearable device that belongs to the movement sensing category. According to Clint Zeagler, “placing the sensor on the thigh or just above ankle would be appropriate.” The visible feedback of LEDs is also easy to read because of the placement of the device.

Parts & Materials

(1) Arduino Nano 33 IOT
(1)Yellow LED
(1)Red LED
(1)USB charger
(1)Orange LED
(6)Aligator clips
(1)Half breadboard
Jumper wires
Velcro tapes
Black ribbon
Conductive thread
Black acrylic felt

Prototype Images

img_1297 img_1300 img_1301

Demo Video

https://youtu.be/LEhxEk4P7Z0

Detail Images

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Circuit Diagram

circuit-diagram-2

Arduino Code

https://github.com/graceyuanjq/Squat-Mate/blob/main/Arduino%20Code

Project Context

Using the wearable device for tracking body movement or fitness has been quite popular. Notch Wearable Sensors can serve as a practical example. The notch is a motion capture system with up to 18 IMU sensors for detecting an athlete’s movement. You can purchase it as a kit and each kit comes with 6 sensors. Its LED lights system is designed to identify different sensors and where they are supposed to be worn. Each sensor unit contains 6 different colored lights. As the user selects a configuration for Notch on the phone app, it automatically assigns one color for each sensor. Similar to the Notch, Squat Mate also detects body movement and uses a velcro hook for fixing the device on the user’s body part.

Another related example would be the Heart Rate Monitor by Dmitry Dziuba from the MIT lab. This device is designed in the form of a watch, for the user to wear on their wrist. I found the design beautiful and well-integrated. The most eye-catching feature of its the bright and colorful Adafruit NeoPixel Ring that lights up or changes color as the user’s heartbeat changes. The concept of the Heart Rate Monitor and Squat Mate aligns – track body movement with IMU sensor and display them as visual feedbacks using LED lights.

There is another example with a really interesting concept and mechanism but very poorly constructed. This is a prototype from a youtube channel called Ultimate Robotics. The prototype integrates muscle controlled Electromyography (EMG) to control LED lights with the movement of fingers. Although the use of EMG is super creative and interesting, the prototype itself provides discomfort to the arm and the LEDs are not integrated into the design.

References

Chua, Julian. “Notch Wearable Sensor Review.” Sports Technology Blog, 29 Apr. 2019, sportstechnologyblog.com/2019/04/28/notch-wearable-sensor-review/.

Dziuba, Dmitry. “Heart Rate Monitor (Wearable and Wireless Using ECG).” Hackster.io, 6 Dec. 2020, www.hackster.io/aka3d6/heart-rate-monitor-wearable-and-wireless-using-ecg-e96dce.

Zeagler, Clint. “Where to Wear It.” Proceedings of the 2017 ACM International Symposium on Wearable Computers, 2017, doi:10.1145/3123021.3123042.