The first step of creating a wearable to support navigation without visuals was to decide on my idea. I decided on using radio communication between two microcontrollers to create a controller operated navigation system. One person is holding a microbit and the other person is wearing a microbit bracelet that is connected to two vibrating motors, one on the right side of the users wrist and one on the left side. When the button A is pressed on the first microcontroller, it sends a signal to the second microcontroller to display "left" and vibrator the left motor. The same happens for the right side when button B is pressed. Writing the code to get the microbits to radio communicate was quite difficult and took a lot of time but I was able to finally figure out how to get the code to do as I planned with the help of Mary West.
The second step was to start building the circuit. The last wearable project I did with vibrating motors did not work. Thanks to the knowledge of Mary West, I now realize the reason I couldn't get the motors to work the first time was because I needed a transistor between my microbit and the motor as the motor was short circuiting the microbit and will not work without a transistor. I found this out on Thursday of this week and ordered the parts I needed which unfortunately I was not able to get until Sunday. However, once I got ahold of the transistors I was able to build my circuit and get the motors to vibrate on command.
After I got the circuit to work as I wanted in the breadboard, I worked on converting this circuit system to a wearble. Since I was only able to work on this on Sunday night and I do not have access to wire strippers or a soldering gun, I had to use electrical tape to hold my connections together. Since these connections aren't very secure being held together by only tape, my motors are a bit finicky. Other than the unstable connections, my wearable navigation guide worked as planned!
Welcome to my progress blog for my Wearable Technology course at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Enjoy watching my process as my ideas become a reality.