Glittering Mittens

by anasto

I used LEDs as rhinestones to make mittens sparkle in response to hand motions. Using velostat, I made a resistive sensor that senses how bent or flexed the wrist is. Incorporating the sensor into the natural bending motion of the wrist, more LEDs light up the more the wearer moves the wrist, capturing and amplifying gestures that the wearer might make while conversing excitedly.

To make the sensor, I used two pieces of felt, conductive thread, and two strips of velostat. I didn’t take a picture while making the one for the glove. However, they were assembled in a similar manner to this other velostat sensor that I made. The conductive thread is stitched across the felt pieces and the velostat pieces are sandwiched in between the two layers.

I made a pattern for a mitten by tracing my hand. I cut the pieces out of fleece and used snaps to connect the Arduino Lily Pad and the sensor to the mitten. I decided to stitch the LEDs to bows and have the bows conceal the microcontroller.

These are the measurements and calculations I made with the velostat sensor.

activated unactivated
resistance 1 MΩ 4 kΩ
excpted voltage 0.379 V 3.57 V
measured voltage 0.30 V 2.5 V

Here is the glove in action:

If I made this glove again, I would put the sensor over the fingers rather than the wrist, since the fingers have a wider range of motion.