For this project, I wanted to explore further how I could implement circuits and specifically muscle wire into fabric projects like a stuffed animal. Because I am not very familiar with electronics, I wanted to think of a very simple project. At the same time, I love stuffed animals, and am interested in exploring how I could make my stuffed animals more interactive or whimsical. For this project proposal, I drew out designs for a shy stuffed owl that raises its feathers when you touch it, revealing its eyes and beak.
As described in the sketch above, I would create my owl out of felt, with muscle wire sewed into the three larger feathers at the top of its head. The feathers would normally fall across the owl's face due to gravity and the weight of the felt. When current goes through the muscle wire, the wire will try to return to its curled state, lifting the feathers upwards and away from the owl's body, revealing its eyes and beak. In order to initiate this transformation, users would press the owl's tummy, engaging a soft push sensor, and completing the circuit. Thus, this project would simply combine the push sensor and muscle wire demos we completed in class.
Going into this class, I was fairly familiar with sewing, but I had very little experience with electronics and circuits in general, much less e-textiles. I felt like this class gave me a very comprehensive overview of what I could do with e-textiles, and introduced me to basic processes and materials that I wasn't familiar with, such as how to make soft sensors, or what muscle wire is. If I had more time, it would have been amazing to actually create a simple e-textile project, like my owl proposal, but even with not creating a tangible final project, this class introduced me to a lot of tools that I can use in the future.
In this class, students learn to create active, responsive and flexible artifacts using microcontrollers, electroluminescence wire, muscle wire, and electronics embedded fabric. This course also pr...more
Shy Creature: A stuffed animal that reacts and shows its face when you touch it