ERU2 – Winter 2015: James’ Proposal

Wearable electronics are becoming widespread as electronic components become smaller, flexible, and more durable. I propose a clothing item integrating some simple sensors and a lighting system which could have widespread applications. These include outdoor exercise, scientific field work, and camping use.

The proposed prototype would be integrated into a jacket, although it could also be integrated into other clothing depending on the intended environment of its use. The very preliminary and informal schematic below details the intended components of the device:

Outline - James

Exact wiring and a formal schematic will be presented once I have had a chance to experiment with the components.

An Arduino Lilypad would be integrated into the clothing, perhaps in a waterproof pocket, and supplied with power from a battery. Connected to this, a pair of RGB LEDs would be attached to glasses/goggles, allowing the wearer to light his or her surroundings hands-free. This could be controlled by both a button for on/off control and a potentiometer to adjust between white light and red light (for night vision). These control features would be integrated into a wrist strap. The device will also use a temperature sensor and heart rate monitor to determine basic data about the wearer’s vitals, and display these through micro LEDs in the wrist strap. The body temperature light would stay constant at acceptable body temperatures and blink in different patterns when body temperature passes certain thresholds as a warning to the wearer, while the heart rate can be displayed by matching the pulsing of the LED to the heart rate. The heart rate and temperature sensors are currently depicted as being torso-mounted, but upon experimentation, this may change based on where the most effective readings can be taken. This device would be a prototype, and could be further developed to integrate more features, such as other vital sign sensors, recording of this data, or scientific equipment for field work such as GPS capability. One expected challenge with creating a wearable electronic device would be to ensure that the wiring is integrated in a way to avoid short circuits.

The proposed timeline would be to order parts I do not have, and test features and coding for which I do have parts using my current Arduino Uno. Once the required parts arrive, I would be able to test the other features out. Once testing is done, which will hopefully be before the beginning of March, I could integrate the components into the clothing and test the device in real conditions.

Required equipment for the device includes:
-Arduino Lilypad
-Wires and conductive thread
-330Ω resistors (2)
-Lilypad Coin Cell Battery Holder with Switch
-2-5.5V coin cell battery
-Lilypad Temperature Sensor
-Heart rate monitor
-Lilypad coloured micro LED (2 colours, 1 each)
-RGB LED (2)
-Miscellaneous fabric and thread
-Clips for glasses-mounted LEDs

Posted in Blog, Electronics for the Rest of Us! Tagged with:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *