Badass – Enhancing Social Alienation

Title: Badass

Concept/Objective: To create a wearable and fully functioning supermodern garment to be worn while riding the TTC which would deter others from getting too close to and/or interacting with the wearer.

If strangers come to close to the wearer, the garment will raise the collar to obscure the lower portion of the face of the wearer.

The Intended Scenario:

1) The jacket is put on and the Wearer enters the TTC.

2) There are a few people on the TTC, but the Wearer is not bothered.

3) The vehicle stops and a large number of people get on, the Wearer is a bit uneasy at the thought of being close to strangers.

4) A stranger comes within a meter of the Wearer and the collar of the jacket rises a little.

5) At the next stop, a few people get off of the vehicle but an even larger number of people get on, a few strangers are now within a meter of the Wearer, the collar of the jacket rises higer and begins to obscure the face of the wearer. The spikes which were previously hidden under the collar are now exposed.

6) The TTC vehicle is now very full and the collar is fully raised, giving the garment an intimidating appearance with all the the metal spikes facing outward.

7) The strangers who were crowding the Wearer have now backed off and seem a bit put out by jacket.

8 ) The Wearer relaxes, knowing that they do not look like someone that people want to come near, strangers move away.

9) Once there is no one within a meter of the Wearer, the collar lowers fully, revealing the face of the Wearer.

Parts and Materials:

– Alligator clips

– Mini USB cord

– LilyPad Arduino

– 2 Lithium Polymer Batteries

– Wire

– FTDI Chip

– Analog Distance Sensor

– Black Calfskin Leather

– 2 Servo motors

– Metal spikes

– Metal studs

– Black leather

– Black satin

– Black thread

– Sewing machine

– Interfacing

– 5 volt Regulator

– 3 volt Regulator

– Capacitors

– Snaps

Related Works: Barking Mad by Suzi Webster and Jordan Benwick, a coat that plays back the sounds of different dogs barking with increasing ferocity as a stranger approaches the wearer.

I chose to work with materials that I had never worked with before such as servo motors and proximity sensors, plus I have never sewn leather before. Purposely challenging myself, I knew that I would face some difficulties, but I ended up facing many more than I thought.  There were challenges with the code, voltage, and wiring that have lead to this piece being a work in progress.  Most recently, I got the circuit and code to totally work but when I went to rebuild and solder the circuit, it no longer worked.

Sucesses:  I am very pleased with how the jacket itself turned out, since I have never sewn a jacket before, let alone a leather jacket, I am happy with how it turned out.  Also, I have grown a lot in my knowledge of code, and the use of different components and mechanics.

Next Steps: Next, I will find out what is up with my circuit and why it is not being successful and then I will finish integrating it into the jacket itself. Then I will add the metal studs!



Social Body Project – Prox Sensor Test

Hilary Hayes 2011

Created by Hilary Hayes and Kate Hartman

Reads an analog input pin connected to the Sharp Proximity Sensor, prints

the results to the serial monitor.

The higher the value read from the input pin, the greater the rotation of the servo motor.


#include <Servo.h>  //includes all info in the universal servo library

Servo myservo;  // create servo object to control the servo(s)

int sensorValue; //includes the sensor

void setup() {


myservo.attach(9);  // attaches the servo(s) on pin 9 to the servo object


void loop() {

int sensorValue = analogRead(A0);  // sensor connected to analog 0

Serial.println(sensorValue, DEC);

if (sensorValue  < 315){ //if someone is close

//something should happen! AKA pop tha collar

digitalWrite(13, HIGH); // turn the board pin on

myservo.write(180);                  // sets the servo position according to the scaled value




//nothing happens AKA collar stays down

digitalWrite(13, LOW);

myservo.write(0);                  // sets the servo position according to the scaled value




Video of the functioning circuit:


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