I was motivated in part to do my project after reading about an autistic boy in a school in the US who was bullied for his inability to read body language of his peers, which is a common issue for people with developmental disorders. I wanted to create a shirt that would be able to communicate basic emotions based on the wearer’s body language, which would press one of the soft switches in the shirt depending on their pose. I decided on three emotions to represent a positive state (“calm”), a negative state (“tense”), and something in the middle (“sassy”). I assigned each emotion a coloured LED (calm = green, sassy = yellow, tense = red), then sewed each in to the shirt in parallel connected to a battery holder running 6V. I had to work through a lot of different design models to find a way to route my conductive thread through all the components without shorting or looking too messy.
This is my circuit diagram:
where you can see my three LEDs, two resistors (the yellow LED was too faint for a resistor), and battery pack.
10mm Super Bright LED – Green (LEDTT-108015)
10mm Super Bright LED – Yellow (LEDTT-108014)
10mm Super Bright LED – Red (LEDTT-108012)
CR2025 Coin Cell Battery (BATTG-202500) x 2
20mm Sewable Coin Cell Battery Holder (LILYB-008822)
Conductive Thread (LILYP-010867)
Conductive Fabric (LILFB-001220)
I started by embroidering the words and connecting the negative sides of the LEDs to the battery pack on the back of the shirt
Then I sewed in the soft switches, made with conductive fabric on either side of a thick neoprene fabric with a hole cut out
This is the illustration of how my circuit ended up laid out on my shirt