Responsive puppet

by Yoav

For this week assignment I was experimenting with materials, trying to come up with my own resistor design.

squishing sensor
The first experiment was done with a balloon filled with salty water. According to the equation of resistivity in materials, I can change the geometry of an object and get a change in the resistivity without changing the volume of the object. A balloon is perfect for this because it is very easy to change the geometry. So, basically I made a squishing sensor.
My tests with the multimeter showed that the concept is working. However, it was too messy and I had other ideas that I wanted to try so I didn’t continue working on it.

My second experiment was creating a button-potentiometer. I imagine a shirt or a coat that the buttons on it are being used as potentiometer to control the volume or for switching songs on your MP3 player.
I didn’t want to use 3D printed parts so used the laser cutter. I was tricky to design the potentiometer and to keep the functionality of the button. My first design was from cardboard and I used pencil (graphite) as the resistor. But then I decided it will be nicer to use Acryl and to saw the yard onto the material. At the beginning I saw the conductive thread on the button but there wasn’t enough resistance and the circuit was shortened. Leah told me that I should use a more resistive tread in the potentiometer to get about 1K of resistance. I could find the right thread that will give me this resistance in this form factor but I did some experiments with Arduino code and it worked.

Responsive puppet
For my real and complete project for this week I wanted to make something fun and interactive.
I used the pressure sensor made with Velostat that we got in class.
I made a hand operated responsive puppet. The puppet has pressure sensor in each of it’s ear and another one (that operates as a bend sensor in it’s mouth). It has white LEDs for eyes and red LEDs for teeth. The eyes get dimmed down when the ears are presses and the teeth light up when the month is opened.