Project Proposal: Posture sensing backpack
Made by Vicki Long · UNLISTED (SHOWN IN POOLS)
Created: February 24th, 2019
Studies show that wearing/carrying a backpack can cause bad posture, sometimes because of the weight of the backpack or how the person is wearing it. This may result in long term effects, such as back pain or problems. To solve this issue, I would like to propose either constructing a new backpack or modifying an existing one to include fabric pressure sensors to be able to tell where too much force is being applied.
I actually found a previous Kickstarter project that aimed to create a backpack designed to help with posture: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/activelife/posture-vertical-backpack-the-worlds-first-posture
As this is sort of a niche product, I don’t know if it would be feasible for everyone to obtain a backpack designed with posture in mind.
First, the fabric pressure sensors would have to be attached to the backpack using conductive thread. After this, all of the electrical components can be placed inside the backpack itself, including the battery, the Arduino, etc. that would be involved in making the vibration motors vibrate in response to the pressure on the pressure sensors. The pressure sensors change their resistance based on how much pressure is being sensed. This resistance would have to be tested based on the backpack wearer’s good posture as well as bad posture in order to wire the circuit correctly to respond in the right manner.
I also thought about where would be the best place to put the vibration motors so that the wearer could feel the vibrations but also not feel uncomfortable wearing the backpack. Since the backpack probably holds items, and the person wearing it feels the weight of the backpack, I thought it would be a bad idea to put the vibration motors under the straps. It is also possible to simply use LEDs instead to notify the wearer that they currently have bad posture, but I feel this would be less effective than feeling a sudden vibration.
I think it would be possible to place the vibration sensors inside the backpack straps, if there was enough padding around them to prevent them from being damaged from the weight.
for the fabric pressure sensor
* either pressure sensing fabric (https://www.kr4.us/eeontex-pressure-sensing-fabric.html) or
* stretchy conductive fabric + velostat (https://www.instructables.com/id/Flexible-Fabric-Pressure-Sensor/)
* conductive thread to attach the fabric pressure sensor to the backpack
* Arduino board, vibration motors, battery
pictured are left to right, top-down:
1) pre-cut darts
2) drawstring bag
3) experimental darts
4) square spiral
5) tension sampler
6) stitch sampler
7) circle spiral
8) sew two pieces together (one piece folded in half)
9) hem whip and slip stitch
10) soft circuit
11) running stitch, back stitch, applique with blanket and overcast stitch, and blanket/overcast stitch at bottom fold
12) felted ball, felted sheet, and felted 3-d
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