Posts Tagged ‘polyethylene film’

I know I haven’t posted in a while.. I have some sketches waiting to be colored before posting..  The semester has started and I wanted to share with you one of my projects for a course I am doing, New Textiles with Leah Buechley at the Media Lab at MIT. Our assignment was to “create a soft, flexible, textile-based sensor and embed it in an Arduino project.” Below is my concept and design…

Concept – The KNight Riders’ Glove
My mode of transportation in Cambridge is the bicycle and I wanted to make something that I could use while riding. I designed a glove that riders can use as an indicator when turning (or more) when riding at night. The LEDs on my glove will **FLASH** when the sensor in the palm of my hand is squeezed. Ideally, you will have two gloves, one for each hand.

KNight Riders’ Glove


KNight Riders' Glove

  1. Felt
  2. Velostat – a carbon impregnated black polyethylene film that is electrically conductive
  3. Conductive thread
  4. Snaps
  5. Conductive fabric
  6. Multimeter
  7. Alligator clips

How to make the sensor
Cut a piece of felt so that they fit nicely in the palm of your hand. Cut them with little “ears” so that snaps can be attached to them. Iron piece of conductive fabric on the “ear” end of the felt. Attach snap onto the “ear” so that it goes through the conductive fabric. Sew conductive thread from one side of the felt to the other. Ensure that the conductive thread holds securely to the conductive fabric on the “ear.” Repeat this process on the other piece of felt.

Take a piece of velostat and place between the two felt constructions we just made. The snaps secure the two pieces of felt together. We now have a sandwich with the bread as the felt, and the filling, the velostat.

SensorFelt with conductive thread, conductive fabric and snaps

Resistive SensorsFelt with conductive thread, conductive fabric and snaps


Felt with velostat between


Velostat placed on one of the felt pieces


Place other felt swatch on the other (on the velostat)

SensorCompleted resistive sensor with velostat between

Testing resistance of the sensor
Place tips of the multimeter on the “ears” of the felt construction. Be sure to turn your multimeter dial to Ohm for reading resistance. With the tips on the “ears,” press the sensor and note the change/ reduction of the resistance on your multimeter.

Testing sensor

Serial Monitor readings

Constructing the KNight Rider glove
I retrofitted an existing glove to make my Knight Riders’ glove. I examined the glove and decided where I wanted to place my LEDs so that when I make a fist (to squeeze my sensor), the LEDs light up. I will be placing my sensor in the palm of my hand.

Testing electronics and programming of circuit and Lilipad Arduino

KNight Rider Glove circuit diagram, vernelle noel, new textiles, MIT, arduino, electronics

Testing on/off program written in Arduino

Testing Flashing program

KNight Riders' Glove

Stitching of sensor into palm of glove

KNight Riders' Glove - when sensor is not pressed

KNight Riders’ Glove – when sensor is not pressed

KNight Riders' Glove - when sensor is pressed

KNight Riders’ Glove – when sensor is pressed

KNight Riders’ Glove

Hope you enjoyed!!