Записи с темой: soft circuit (список заголовков)

TUTORIAL: Piano-Shirt

I've conducted the following Piano-Shirt workshop for a Nerd Rider event in February. I am  also going to incorporate it a Soft Synth workshop it in September in the Victoria and Albert Museum London, which I'm gonna be leading together with my beloved Emilie Giles!

 Below is a short step-by-step tutorial explaining how to make your own piano-shirt. You will need:

- LilyPad SimpleSnap with lithium battery
- Speaker  8 Ohm
- sewable LED
- conductive thread
- conductive fabric
- normal thread
- metal poppers with holes, 9mm
- double-sided Bondaweb (Ger: B

@темы: wearables, soft circuit, physical computing, etextiles, capacitive sensing, Workshop, Teaching


Wearables Workshop Development and Conduction: my seminar at the LMU

During the last week of February I was teaching a seminar on wearable technology and education for the third time in a row. This course was a collaboration with Dr. Karin Guminski and Michael Dietrich from SPIELkultur, and Simone Damm was assisting us this year.
All pictures on this page are courtesy of the seminar participants or Anna Blumenkranz

We had an intense week, during which the students had to come up with a workshop idea and produce it: acquire all necessary materials and tools, make an instruction, and after assessing the workload for their target group pre-produce different parts and steps. The next week after the course we went into a school and conducted these workshops with the 5th and 7th grade kids during two afternoons.

One of the challenges this year was having the double amount of students on the course: 24 instead of 12... And another trouble was that I had a flu and completely lost my voice on the second day. Which is not the most convenient thing for a teacher. On the last day of the course, my co-teachers had to act as my voice and read or say out loud what I was meaning to tell everyone in the classroom. Human amplifiers :)

On the technical side, this year I've introduces the students to ATTiny85, as I wanted them work with sound. ATTinys are little micro-controllers, which only cost 1,50€ in the eHaJo-shop! A great price for a computer. Similar to an arduino, you can address different pins through code, and attach sensors and actuators to them. Here is what we were doing during the first one and a half days:

STEP1: I've used Arduino Uno to programme the ATTinys (thanks to Hannah Perner-Wilson for a fantastic tutorial). I've used the following code for the Super Mario tune, and this one for the Star Wars tune, and adjusted both slightly.

STEP2: I've made the following swatch to demonstrate the circuit. I intentionally left it as basic as possible, as I didn't want to influence the students' future designs in any way. The circuit uses a 3V battery as a power source, the ATTiny chip soldered onto a piece of stripboard to control everything, a piezo for the buzzing audio output and a standard LED for the light, and two popper switches to open the circuit.

I was very pleased with some of the students' ideas and designs, which extended my circuit and incorporated it in various designs, making them attractive for 10-12-year-olds! There were sock puppets, Minion smartphone pockets with stretch sensors, school book covers with owls, bags with printed tape recorders to switch on and Super Mario mushrooms

@темы: LMU, Teaching, Workshop, etextiles, physical computing, soft circuit, tutorial, wearables


T-Shirt Piano at Nerd Rider

photo by FormatD
End of February I've been invited to lead a whole-day event on wearables as part of the Nerd Rider event series. Prior to the workshop I gave a one-hour lecture on the history of e-textiles, with insights into various political and social arts projects in this realm. Afterwards the participants had a technical introduction into Arduino Lilypad microcontroller and its programming. And then they went on to design and sew their very own T-Shirt piano.

photo by FormatD
photo by FormatD
photo by FormatD
I loved doing a whole-day workshop, as you can squeeze in very diverse input. Although the time never seems to be sufficient, and I wish we had a whole week together. And I thoroughly enjoyed the workshop participants, their contagious enthusiasm, and their various skills and backgrounds ranging from textile designers for BMW and space engineers to ambitious high-school grads.

A huge thank you to the organizers - Format D, who took over the whole event management and materials, registration, space set-up, and, and and. They had to do some late-night shifts to make this event happen. Thanks to Christian, Benno & Catherina!

photo by FormatD

@темы: etextiles, Workshop, Teaching, Media Art, Geekery, wearables, soft circuit, physical computing, maker culture


Solar Hood

Initially I wanted to build a flexible solar phone charger, to roll it out and attach to the top of your backpack and charge your phone on the go with green energy. But then I considered the costs and the challenges, and went for a playful option.

So here is a brief tutorial on how to make your own solar hood, or whatever you want to attach it to.

Collect your Materials.
You will need:

- solar motor
- solar cell 
- 3V coin battery
- battery holder
- conductive fabric
- conductive thread
- velcro
- fusible interfacing (in German: Vliseline. A double-sided sticky material for ironing two pieces of fabrics onto each other)
- something light like feather or small leaves
- felt

STEP 1: Plan your circuit. Position your motor, battery, solar cell and velcro switches, and draw the connection, so that you're able to switch the energy source.
STEP 2: Make your motor wearable.
Depending on your motor shorten the wires, remove the isolation and form a loop. Solder this wire loop to a metall popper. Repeat for the second piece of wire.

I used a different motor for my circuit, with wires thick and stable enough to be sewn directly into the fabrics. So I used plastic poppers as an addition, as on the very first picture. Play around with yours!
 Make a felt holder for your motor. If your felt is thin or your motor rather tall, put two layers of felt together. Cut out a form which covers your motor and add two symmetrical "legs" on the bottom.
Secure the two layers with pins and cut it out. Then sew the two layers together.

Wrap the felt holder around your motor and secure it with a pin. Take the motor out and sew the holder together. Take conductive thread and sew metal poppers onto the "legs" of your holder.

Attach a feather or anything light with hot glue to the very top of your motor. This way you'll see the movement of your motor immediately. Be careful not to put too much glue, otherwise it will be too heavy for your motor, and it won't rotate.

STEP 3: Make your solar cell wearable. 
Strip the isolation off a piece of wire and form a loop with pliers. Then cut off this piece. Repeat for another three pieces. Then solder two loops onto the plus and minus contacts in the corners. And glue the other two loops with a hot glue gun onto the opposite corners.

STEP 4: Assemble your circuit. 
Now place all your components on your piece of felt according to your circuit plan, and mark their position with a pen.

Draw your circuit connections on a piece of your fusible interfacing, then put it on a piece of conductive fabric. The paper side of it should be facing you.

Note! The lines on the fusible interfacing paper will be mirrored later, so consider this for your circuit.

 Then iron the fabric.


 Cut out your lines.
 Peel the paper off and put your conductive connectors on the felt. Iron them onto it.

 Establish connections to your components by sewing them onto conductive fabric with conductive thread. Make sure your connections are tight enough. Otherwise there will be an unstable contact.

 STEP 5: Make a velcro-switch.
 Sew the bottom-side of velcro onto the end of your battery connection with conductive thread. Make sure to establish a good connection. Do the same for the solar cell connection. Then sew the third bottom part with normal thread, to make an off-mode for your switch.

Sew the other two metal poppers into your circuit for your motor holder. Thread through one of the poppers with conductive thread and stitch through the upper part of velcro, so that it's moveable and long enough to touch each of the three bottom velcro parts.

Now attach your motor holder.

Here are two examples made during the workshop:

This workshop is inspired by Kobakant's Solar T-Shirt, though in the end I chose to simplify the circuit and make it possible to switch between different power options. Also, I'd like to thank Hannes from eHaJo for helping me with electric troubleshooting!

Creative Commons License
Solar Hood by Anna Blumenkranz is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://www.kobakant.at/DIY/?p=2763.

@темы: wearables, tutorial, solar, soft circuit, motor, etextiles, Workshop, Teaching, Geekery


Make Munich 2016

Last weekend I was leading a new workshop called "Thread the Sunshine In!" at this year's Make Munich. We were integrating a solar motor into a soft circuit, which would run either from a solar cell if the weather allows it, or from a 3V coin cell battery. Everything was sewn onto a piece of felt with velcro or buttons around the corners, so that you could be flexible and attach your solar motor to your hood, backback, shirt or whatever is well exposed to sun beams.


This time the workshop was slightly different for me and for everybody else. We were being filmed by BR for a short video on the TV. Same week before the workshop I've been interviewed in my studio about women and the maker movement. The video is still available here.

This year's Make Munich was huuuge! It moved to Zenithhalle, which is three times as bis as Tonhalle. So there were even more makers, visitors, events, robotic competitions, 3d printers, etc. etc. than previously.

Many thanks to the organisers Martin & Jenny, all the volunteers, and especially a guy from Munich Maker Lab who spontaneously assisted me throughout the whole workshop with soldering, gluing and taking most of the above pictures! Such an amazing support, thank you so so much!

@темы: Geekery, Make Munich, Munich, Teaching, Workshop, etextiles, make, maker culture, motor, soft circuit, solar, wearables


Musik M

Two weeks ago I held a new wearable workshop at FabLab Munich. The idea is simple: we've been integrating headphones directly into a winter hat. It keeps you warm while you are listening to your favourite tunes.

I had literally only two days prep time, because the little one brought a  nasty stomach bug from the kindergarten... So here is a short tutorial / documentation:

Step1: Take your headphones apart. (You'll need the ones with big speakers, not the ones you push directly into your ears.) If necessary, remove all screws and break off the plastic to free the speakers from the frame. Tape the speakers around the edge to cover up any sharp plastic edges.

Step 2: Integrate speakers into your hat. Make felt pockets to hold your speaker on the inside. If you want to hide the cable as well, cut into the hat (not the head! ;)) and thread the cable through the hole. Then stitch everything together again. The cable should run through the back of your hat.

Step 3. Add your design. I've made a fox, hoping that it would make it appealing for kids. And I hid the rest of the cable in a loooong sausage of felt. Voil

@темы: wearables, soft circuit, Workshop, Teaching, Media Art, FabLab


Soft Robots and Talking T-Shirts in Heidelberg

Last weekend I was kindly invited to Heidelberg by my amazing artist friend Anna Donska to conduct two wearable workshops together at Kulturfenster. Anna is offering all sorts of drawing workshops and museum excursions (check out her blog for bright and resourceful pictures). Unfortunately, Anna caught a bad cold, so I ended up doing the second workshop on my own. And I even managed to take the cold home, as a little souvenir from Heidelberg. ))

The first day was dedicated to making Talking T-Shirts (the same technical concept I've used previously for Speaking Bags), for children from age 8. As usual, I offered the participants to create their own soft buttons. However, to my surprise, most of them decided to keep the original "hard" button of the sound module and concentrate on the design of the shirt. And even more surprisingly, despite the absence of real technical challenges, we were struggling with the timing in the end. I must also add that I was very disappointed with the sound modules I ordered for this workshop. I've always had many issues with those, but this time I think half of them stopped working by the end of the workshop, which was rather frustrating... (I think I need eHaJo people make one for my workshops.)

One of my resolutions this year is to become more open source and open data. So here is a list of materials and tools needed, and I also attach my hand-out with the instructions.
Materials: - paper and pencil for sketching and planing
- T-Shirt
- re-recordable sound-module
- thread
- felt and fabric left-overs
- fabric glue or hot glue gun
- conductive thread

- needle
- scissors
- cable stripper


Creative Commons License
Speaking Bag by Anna Blumenkranz is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

The second workshop, which I ran on my own, was a Soft Robot one, aimed at families. I have never done it for an audience like this before, (though, I used to have totally mixed workshops) and I just loved the concept! There was one father-son team, and two two-kids-one-mum teams. The atmosphere was great and laid-back, and every team finished the electric part by the end. Here is everything we've used in this workshop:

- felt
- fiberfill
- two LEDs
- cell coin battery 3V
- battery holder
- conductive thread

- needle
- scissors
- pliers 

Possible buttons:

For Velcro Buttons:
- Two pieces of velcro
- conductive thread
- opt: felt

For conductive pompom: 
- thick knitting yarn
- conductive thread
- two round pieces of cardboard with a whole in the middle

For Stroke Sensor:
- felt
- conductive thread

Many thanks to lovely and hospitable Anna, friendly Kulturfenster & Ulla, and beautiful sunny Heidelberg!

Creative Commons License
Soft Robots / Kuschelroboter by Anna Blumenkranz is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

@темы: wearables, soft circuit, Workshop, Media Art, Design, Arts


Artists in Support of Ukraine - Exhibition opening

Recently I took part in a group exhibition organised by a Kiev-born artist Natalia Zurakowska, who is my former arts teacher and whom I dearly love. It was a charity exhibition, so as all money from the sold artwork was donated to support the refugees in Ukraine.

For this exhibition I created three embroidered portraits in traditional colours, inspired by Ukrainian fairy tails. A good example for this type of folklore is a tail of the fox, the cat and the cock: "Котик та пiвник", which I used as an audio source for the portrait of the granny. The idea to display e-embroidered artwork this way is borrowed from a Spanish artist Oh!villo, whom I discovered some time ago and whose work I find utterly beautiful and subtle.

Apart from e-embroideries I also exhibited three prints from the previous 100 Word Pilgrimage shows (Croydon in South London, Rotherhithe in East London, and the Munich edition: Kriechbaumhof in Haidhausen).

In the end, we managed to collect a decent sum of money which was given to a very trustful Ukrainian charity organisation. My fox now lives with the amazing Brigitte Yoshiko Pruchnow  who bought it (check out her fantastic work and masterly acrylic water reflections). And I, for my part, was very tempted to buy Natalia's Ukrainian village cat :)

Brigitte's graphic work
Natalia's new Ukrainian-themed paintings

Amazing textile work by Irina Lupyna

@темы: Arts, Beddow n Battini, Exhibition, Geekery, Illustration, Munich, soft circuit


ANTWORT DER DINGE - an audio hacking workshop at Lothringer13

Last spring I held a one-day workshop in collaboration with a textile artist Stefan Wischnewski. The workshop was supplemental to the exhibition "The Answer of Things" at the city gallery Lothringer 13. It was a fun day of tinkering with kids with an experimental approach to electronics and its strict rules. Definitely a new experience for me!

@темы: wearables, soft circuit, Workshop, Teaching, Munich, Media Art, Geekery


Fairy-tales-telling Bags - Workshop with Stadtbibliothek Milbertshofen

This is a workshop I've been doing at the Situlischule in North Munich end of February, assisted by the super talented Fanny. It was commissioned by Stadtbibliothek Milbertshofen as part of their programme "Echt Sch

@темы: Media Art, Munich, Teaching, Workshop, soft circuit, wearables


Christmas tree decorations at FabLab - 21 Decemeber

I am finally paying off my last December debt by sharing these bathed-in-the-beauty-of-the-winter-sunlight pictures and very engaged faces during my last workshop at the FabLab Munich.

I was holding this pre-Christmas session in the new space of the FabLab, who have finally moved from the cellar to this bright airy room. The participants had the choice of either making a Christmas card or a Christmas tree decoration, and everyone went for the second option (probably a bit late for cards just two days prior to the holiday).

It was the first time I had a mixed-age workshop for both kids and adults (ok, one adult, to be honest), and I was pleased to see that it worked very well. Hurray to new formats and inspiring participants! And a big thank you to Birgit & Andreas from the FabLab for the all-around support!

@темы: Geekery, Media Art, Munich, Teaching, Workshop, soft circuit, wearables

panda eats, shoots and leaves!