Process Journal #1 – An E-Textile Safety Badge & Bracelet

E-Textile Concept:

Who: Women and vulnerable communities e.g. LGBTQ+, children

What: A discrete pin-able patch and a bracelet

When: Can be used in everyday situations – women’s march, pride celebrations, walking down a dark alley,

Where: Pinned onto clothing or worn around the wrist

How: Sends a distress signal, perhaps with GPS location, when the bracelet is pinched or the badge is pressed. Ideally, the signal would be sent to an application on a phone that would pass the message to a designated party e.g first responders or family and friends.

Technique chosen: In the beginning I decided to either knit or weave as I wanted to create a push button controller and a pinch controller. I settled on knitting as I felt that weaving might not work for the push button and may have been too stiff. However, now with hindsight, if I were to continue with the idea of a safety bracelet, I would use the weaving technique to create the pinch controller.

Badge & Bracelet design & design:

Below is how I envision the push button and pinch mechanism envisioned in a wearable version of the safety badge and safety bracelet.

img_20190123_215858_editPush Mechanism Design for Safety Badge

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Pinch Mechanism Design for Safety Bracelet

Process: The Badge

E-Textile Components

Steps:

  1. Prepare your materials and cut felt according to the size of badge you want. i.e. This design is for a square badge.
  2. Cast-on 10 stitches onto the knitting needle. Begin with your non-conductive piece.
  3. Knit in your preferred knitting style.
  4. Once you have a square piece, cast-off the stitches to complete the square.bc-3
  5. You should now have a non-conductive knitted square.
  6. Begin the next square by joining your conductive thread with the yarn to form one thread.
  7. Leave a “tail” of at least an inch in length and then cast-on 7 stitches.
  8. Knit in your desired style for 7 rows or until you have a square then cast-off.bc-4
  9. Repeat steps 6-8 to create a second conductive square. Ensure that each square has a “tail”.
  10. Sandwich the non-conductive part between the conductive parts and use the e-textile testing tool to test that the push button mechanism works. Tip: Ensure that the stitches on the non-conductive part are loose.
  11. Sew one conductive square to one side of the felt piece.
  12. Sew the other conductive square onto the opposite side of the felt piece ensuring that the tails of the pieces are on opposite sides.bc-5
  13. Pick one side of the felt and sew the non-conductive piece over one of the conductive pieces.
  14. Fold over the felt and test the safety badge lights the LED on the e-textile tool.

bc-6

Process: The Bracelet

E-Textile Components

Steps:

  1. Cut two 1/2 inch wide strips of conductive fabric.
  2. Using an LED and your battery from the e-textile testing tool, designate a + and – side to the strips.
  3. Place the remaining LEDs onto the strips and test that they all light up
  4. String some conductive thread through a press stud and sew a running stitch into the positive side of the conductive strips. Make sure that the press stud fits over the positive side of the battery pack’s press stud. bc-7
  5. Begin sewing the “legs” of the LEDs onto the positive strip.
  6. Sew all 5 LEDs onto the strip and snip the conductive thread when you get to the end of the positive strip or after the last LED has been fastened to the strip.
  7. Sew down the LEDs on the negative strip and snip the conductive thread leaving a tail. bc-8
  8. To create the knitted strip for the pinch circuit begin knitting with a mix of yarn and conductive thread. Ensure that you leave about a 1 inch tail.
  9. Knit for about 7 rows and then continue knitting with only yarn. You can snip the conductive thread.
  10. Knit with only yarn for 10 rows then attach the conductive thread at the end of a row and continue knitting a new conductive part.
  11. Knit for 7 rows and then cast-off and snip the yarn leaving a tail of conductive thread. bc-9
  12.  Attach the tail with yarn and conductive thread mix to the conductive thread tail from the negative strip from step 7.
  13. Attach conductive tail end to another press stud that fits over the negative side of the battery pack.
  14. Complete the circuit by attaching the battery pack i.e attach the press studs.
  15. When you pinch the knitted part, the LEDs should light up. I realized that the blue and green LEDs would not light as the 3V battery did not have enough voltage for the 3.2V bulbs.
  16. I switched out the LEDs using red, yellow, and orange LEDs which required 2.2V and all of them lit up as seen in the last picture. bc-10

The technique of working with the LEDs and was inspired by this post.

 

 

knitting is hard – Max

Strategy:

The prompt I chose from the 8 was Softly Clapping Scarf. I envisioned one of those childrens scars that have little hand pockets on the end. In theory this wouldn’t even need a circuit to accomplish the prompt, a simple clapping scarf would do it, but since that avoids the point, I was thinking of putting some LEDs into it to translate the clapping action into a visual output instead of audio.

I chose knitting as the medium of choice, both because it seemed like the most applicable but also because it seemed like the most personally interesting skill to learn. The plan was to knit conductive thread into the ends of a scarf, connected by a single thread across the length of the scarf so that when the two ends are connected to circuit is complete.

Documentation:

Turns out I’m not very good at knitting. First step was getting through a single line and moving on to the next. For whatever reason i got to the end of the first line and kept losing it trying to transition to the second, but after three or four tries the hang of it was got!

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Turns out the addition of the conductive thread makes the process of knitting significantly harder. The addition of something that has no stretch slowed my progress a lot and it took an unreasonable amount of time to get this little piece done.

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As the conductive thread slowed the pace so dramatically the plan for how long the scarf would be shortened and shortened as time went on. After making a little square of conductive area, I moved on to pulling the thread through only at one of the ends.

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Things got wonkier and wonkier as the knitting went on, and since the goal was a working circuit I decided a full scarf was too far out of scope, so went back to knitting the thread back in for another square at the other end.

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Again, VERY bad at knitting. I don’t even know how you would intentionally change the number of stitches, but I did very good at unintentionally changing the number of stitches. But hey, it conducts.

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A scarf only a mother could love.

Insights:

First off, knitting is hard. Ok, not hard, but tricky, and irritating. It’s interesting to think about the potential uses for creating custom textiles to integrate into other projects. Within the context of my own work the applications seem limited as the aesthetic of these different materials are something I think a lot about. With knitting, and weaving and felting, it becomes hard to escape the colloquial associations of their materiality. This may in and of itself be an interesting area of exploration – the possible inversion or subversion of the expectation of the materials. Knits and weaves (and even more so felts) are not fabrics I generally enjoy wearing so there is already an expectation of discomfort when considering them – i find them scratchy and unpleasant. They carry, in this elementary DIY context, an association with warmth and comfort and craft, and these things are all great, but again, not my area of interest. When thinking about the relationship to the body I think this material consideration becomes extra important. What is the statement being made by choosing one of these materials? What kind of bodily experiences do they afford. What is the expectation of someone putting on a knit scarf? Going forward I would like to try to incorporate more of this thought process into the development process, thinking more about the option of of materials what statement they make in and of themselves. There is the interest in how they can be used to incorporate technology into themselves, but that is only interesting if considered in the broader context of how that technology makes a person feel.

Again, knitting is hard.

Information sources: none

Next Steps:

If this were going to be made in actuality pockets would be needed at the end as well the the inclusion of the LEDs and a break in the circuit somewhere for a battery. Also probably making something long enough to actually be worn around a neck. Using a colour or weight of yarn that would hide he conductive thread would also be nice as in this version it just looks like muddy yellow.

 

Workshop Notes 1_Jingpo

  • Strategy

What I want to make is a smart sleeping wear that monitors people’s sleeping pattern and adjusts sleeping position.

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1.Get the right sleeping position:

Good sleep posture is important to have a good sleep. In some cases, the wrong sleeping position can cause various parts of the body to be compressed to varying degrees, so when you get up in the morning, there will be a lot of uncomfortable places.

The right sleeping position is sleeping on your back. The advantage of sleeping on your back is that it doesn’t compress your organs.

The downside of lying is not the right sleeping position. Most of your body weight is concentrated in your ribs and stomach, which puts a lot of pressure on your chest and diaphragm. That can affect your breathing and increase the load on your heart.

Sleeping on the left side of the body, which is prone to turning over and over, produces a feeling of erratic sleep. Also, this kind of sleep can affect the heart, because our heart is on the left side of the body, so sleep can be stressful on the heart, so sleeping sideways on the left is a very unhealthy sleep position.

Right side sleeping is better than left side sleeping. It doesn’t press on our heart, and it has a great sense of stability during sleep. The downside is that it affects the right side of the lung.

  1. Design for specific users:
  1. Snoring:

People who snore or have respiratory problems are not advised to sleep on their backs. If you sleep on your back, you may be more predisposed to snoring. it may also lead to complete airway collapse called “sleep apnea”. Pauses in breathing, gasping or choking, and other symptoms such as daytime sleepiness may result. This occurs because gravity can more easily shift these tissues into the throat, blocking adequate airflow.

  1. Backbone:

People who have backbone problem like prolapse of intervertebral lumbar disc need to lie flat on their back and sleep on a hard bed.

  1. Heart disease, high blood pressure and cerebral thrombosis:

People suffering from heart disease, high blood pressure, cerebral thrombosis is not suitable for lying prone to sleep, we must pay attention to in life.

  1. Stomach disease and acute liver disease:
    Left side sleeping can press heart, stomach. It is not suit to left side slanting morpheus especially to the patient such as disease of the stomach, acute liver disease.

Conclusion:

To healthy person character, suggest to choose back lie with side lie alternately, but give priority to with back lie. For specific users, they need to have different position of sleep.

  • Documentation:

Two techniques I chose are weaving and knitting.

1: Circle weaving_Tilt sensor

Process:

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Finished push button:

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Test:

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2: Knitting_Push button

Process:

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Finished tilt sensor:

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Test:

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  • Insights:
  1. I understand how to make tilt sensor and push button, which are two every essential and useful sensors in my ongoing project.
  2. I didn’t really understand how tilt sensor work at the first time. I should have taken a moment slow down and think of how they work before started doing anything. The wires for those four conductive areas on the sensor are so close to each other, so I had to make a new one.
  3. How would I apply those knowledge: 

Tilt sensor:

Trigger alarm for wrong sleeping position(Left side/Right side)

Record sleeping pattern 

Push button:

Trigger alarm for wrong sleeping position(Downside) 

  • Information sources: None.
  • Next Steps:
  1. Search for similar products and learn from them;
  2. Fully test those two sensors;
  3. Upgrade the tilt sensor(conductive wires);
  4. Write Arduino code;
  5. Find alternative way(without Arduino)to record sleeping pattern if possible;
  6. Find sleeping wear;