To begin my sensory glove, I first decided on using a flex sensor to turn on LEDs that would be attached to the fingers of the gloves. Having difficulties in my last wearable project attempt, I decided to break down the process by testing each part of my glove one piece at a time. I first connected a flex sensor to my micro:bit and learned how flex sensor was sending data to the micro:bit by printing out the data the flex sensor was giving the micro:bit in a display scroll across the screen of the micro-controller. This part of the process gave me the most trouble, I had a very hard time finding code to direct me in how to get the sensor to tell the micro:bit what to do. I realized I had to graduate to writing in Python rather than the block code micro:bit provides. This was especially difficult because I have never writing in python before, so I ran into a lot of syntax errors in my code that didn't allow my micro:bit to work correctly that took me a long time to debug. Once I got the code working learned what numbers I was working with when the sensor was bent vs straight, I was able to test the control of my sensor by telling the micro:bit to change from a square to a heart when the sensor was bent. After I got this working, I was able to add LEDs to this circuit and code the sensor to also turn on the LEDs at the same time the square would change to a heart. I originally wanted a different colored LED for each finger, but I realized the micro:bit didn't have enough power to control the blue and green LEDs so I stuck with just using red, as that is the color that requires the lowest amount of energy.
After I got the basic coding and circuit completed, I moved to making my circuit the correct shape I needed to apply it to a glove. I soldered each pin of each LED so each ground and power were connected to require as little connections needed as possible. I made it so I only needed three alligator clips to connect to P0 (to the power of the sensor), P1 (to the power of the LEDs) and ground that connected to both the ground of the sensors and the LEDs. After soldering each piece, I tested the circuit again in the breadboard to make sure everything still worked. I ran into more syntax errors with my code here that caused my circuit to not work and caused me to think I messed up my soldering, but luckily I was able to debug and only the code was a problem!
I think secured my circuit to my glove: one LED per finger, and the flex sensor secured to the first finger, triggering the LEDs to turn on and the display of the micro:bit to change from a square to a heart when the user's hand is bent.
I am really happy I was able to make my glove work. I know this isn't the prettiest wearable and the circuitry and adhesion onto the glove isn't the most secure, but this is the first time I was able to control an input and an output through a micro:bit successfully and I am very happy I was finally able to figure it out! Baby steps!:)
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.