Monday, January 11, 2016

Theremin Sport Coat


Jay Silver worked on a great project called ok2touch that used conductive thread and circuitry to explore "empathetic contact" and creating sounds through touching skin to skin. I remixed this project using two of Jay's other projects, Drawdio and Colorforms' Brush with Genius, to create a Theremin Sport Coat.

I started with an Adafruit assembled Drawdio fun pack and a laser cut Drawdio holder. I used a really heavy weight conductive thread and put some truly Frankensteinian stitches in the arm of a sport coat. I sewed some "pads" as well to make piano-type keys on one sleeve. One of the pads connected to the other end of the Drawdio so a complete circuit could be formed if somebody touched and connected the two pads.





I placed the Drawdio and holder on the lapel and sewed a circuit in the lining. 





Once it was working I took it out into the world with my son to play around with conductivity.



The design left little to be desired. I also talked with Jay about the Drawdio and Brush with Genius, and it turns out the Brush With Genius used the 555 timer, like Jay's original Drawdio built from a PicoCricket, instead of the Adafruit 551. I purchased a second Brush With Genius to take it apart and repackage the circuitry.






I used TurtleArt to program all the designs to be 3D printed. The designs were extruded and sized in Tinkercad then downloaded for 3D printing on my Thing-O-Matic.

I started with the speaker grill and speaker holder.




The stem was mounted to a laser cut wooden Drawdio holder with screws and M3 bolts.




A "vase" held the circuitry.


Longer leads to connect the circuit to the sport coat soft circuitry were soldered to the board. Additionally, connectors for the power supply, a holder with 2AAA batteries, were soldered to the board.




Attached to the lapel and powered on, the boutonniere is ready to squawk! There are pads on the end of each sleeve that I can hold on to if I need to bust out a solo, or I can old one opposite of the sleeve somebody else touches while we hold hands!


Although this is an simple wearable project, it brings smiles to everyone who interacts with it!

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