final project: soft cyborg

soft cyborg

Title: soft cyborg
Concept: This mask was a continuation of my explorations from Wearable Technology 1 on how technology can be made more human and bring people back into their bodies as oppose to distracting from them. This mask was different from previous masks as it focused mostly on soft cyborg/human interaction. It was my intention to encourage the formation of a non-linear narrative between people and the soft cyborg.
The Intended Scenario: Ideally the soft cyborg would coexist in public spaces with people. Through its movements and interactions, the soft cyborg would encourage physical interactions to take place.
Parts & Materials: The base, eyelids, and nose are made out of handmade felt. The nose is made out of a combination of felt and conductive felt (made from a blend of merino and bronze wool). There are micro servos in the eyes and the circuit runs off of an Ardunio Pro Mini microcontroller and two 9V batteries. The conductive felt in the nose is connected to the circuit using conductive thread that has a crimp bead attached to it on the inside of the mask. The wires connected to the circuit also have crimp beads soldered to them. Everything is connected to the conductive felt pressure sensors with a little metal hoop so the circuit can easily be removed.
Related Works: This mask riffed off of my previous soft robot/cyborg masks. While I did look at other masks for inspiration, the final form emerged on its own.
Challenges: The biggest challenge with this project was refining the concept. The more I learn about the possibilities of incorporating technology with fibre constructions, the wilder my ideas become. I needed a lot of time to cull my initial idea down to something that was simple and doable. Working with conductive felt was a big challenge as well. My final use of the material was not as robust as I had intended it to be. Because the fibres moved around and in some cases felted more when touched repeatedly it was difficult to get consistent resistance readings. As such, the soft cyborg did not always respond when touched.
Successes: I was successful in creating a more refined form for the soft cyborg. I really find the extended nose to be a strong new development.
Next Steps: Next I need to work with making conductive felt a whole lot more. This includes trying to wet-felt conductive felt. Also, I would like to work with children to see how they respond to my masks. Beyond the technology part of this piece, I also intend to explore the potential for my actions/performance to contribute to the development of the soft cyborg’s persona.

Code:

/*
code for soft cyborg (winter semester 2011)
*/

#include “Servo.h”

Servo rightupper; // create servo object to control a servo
Servo rightlower; // a maximum of eight servo objects can be created
Servo leftupper; // create servo object to control a servo
Servo leftlower; // create servo object to control a servo

int pos = 0; // variable to store the servo position

int sensorPinTip = 0;     // force sensor is connected to analog pin 0
int sensorPinBridge = 1;     // force sensor is connected to analog pin 0
int sensorValueTip = 0;     // variable to store the value coming from the sensor
int sensorValueBridge = 0;     // variable to store the value coming from the sensor

void setup() {

rightupper.attach(5); // attaches the servo on pin 5 to the servo object (right eye / upper lid)
rightlower.attach(6); // attaches the servo on pin 6 to the servo object (right eye / lower lid)
leftupper.attach(11); // attaches the servo on pin 10 to the servo object (left eye / upper lid)
leftlower.attach(10); // attaches the servo on pin 11 to the servo object (left eye / lower lid)

Serial.begin(9600);  // initialize serial communication:
}

void loop() {

sensorValueTip = analogRead(sensorPinTip);
sensorValueBridge = analogRead(sensorPinBridge);
delay(100);     // delay for 1/10 of a second

if (sensorValueTip<130){ // if the value coming into the computer is less than 20

//normal blink cycle

rightupper.write(160); //right eye/upper lid position when eye is open
rightlower.write(130); //rightleft eye/lower lid position when eye is open
leftupper.write(20); //left eye/upper lid position when eye is open
leftlower.write(60); //left eye/lower lid position when eye is open

delay(5000);

rightupper.write(20); //right eye/upper lid position when eye is closed
rightlower.write(60); //right eye/lower lid position when eye is closed
leftupper.write(160); //left eye/upper lid position when eye is closed
leftlower.write(130); //left eye/lower lid position when eye is closed

delay(500);
}
else{

//closes eyes

rightupper.write(20); //right eye/upper lid position when eye is closed
rightlower.write(60); //right eye/lower lid position when eye is closed
leftupper.write(160); //left eye/upper lid position when eye is closed
leftlower.write(130); //left eye/lower lid position when eye is closed

delay(5000);
}
if (sensorValueBridge<130){ // if the value coming into the computer is less than 20

//normal blink cycle

rightupper.write(160); //right eye/upper lid position when eye is open
rightlower.write(130); //rightleft eye/lower lid position when eye is open
leftupper.write(20); //left eye/upper lid position when eye is open
leftlower.write(60); //left eye/lower lid position when eye is open

delay(5000);

rightupper.write(20); //right eye/upper lid position when eye is closed
rightlower.write(60); //right eye/lower lid position when eye is closed
leftupper.write(160); //left eye/upper lid position when eye is closed
leftlower.write(130); //left eye/lower lid position when eye is closed

delay(500);
}
else{

//closes eyes

rightupper.write(20); //right eye/upper lid position when eye is closed
rightlower.write(60); //right eye/lower lid position when eye is closed
leftupper.write(160); //left eye/upper lid position when eye is closed
leftlower.write(130); //left eye/lower lid position when eye is closed

delay(5000);
}
}

Photos:

the base (with eyes marked)

trimmed servos (for a better fit)

eyelid armature

eyelid armatures attached to servos (wrapped in pipe cleaners for grip)

eyelids (felted onto armatures)

attaching the eyelids (pinned down to test range of motion)

conductive felt (detail)

attaching conductive thread to the conductive felt (negative and positive threads)

conductive felt pressure sensors (placement on nose)

covering up the conductive felt (wet-felted sheet of felt)

crimp bead soldered onto wire to connect to the conductive thread

wires connected to the conductive thread using a jewelry hoop

circuit

Leave a Reply

A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.