July 30, 2013

Make your own Joystick Slippers

Wearable electronics - or the practice of merging electronic circuits (and microcontrollers) with forms of clothing to create an interactive device between humans and technology - is increasingly popular due to the ease of construction and the imagination of some very creative people. One polished example of this has been created by Hannah Perner-Wilson with her "Joy Slippers". Not slippers that will make you happy (or will they?) but in fact slippers that can act as joystick controls for a computer. 

Embedded inside each slipper are analogue pressure sensors, whose values are read by an attached Arduino board. The values are then sent back to a computer whose software can then take action based on the results. in Hannah's example a processing sketch allows the wearer to draw based on the motion of the feet - for example: 

With the use of some extra code or an Arduino Leonardo-compatible board the slippers could emulate a USB mouse or keyboard. Not only would that create some fun but also perhaps a viable user-interface for the differently-abled. Either way it looks like fun and certainly something different.

All the details required for construction and more can be found on the project website. And for more, we're on twitter and Google+, so follow us for news and product updates as well. 

When adding external circuitry such as the soft switch described above to your project, and need to make it more permanent than using a solderless breadboard - consider our range of ProtoShields. From the tiny LeoStick to the Mega range, we offer a complete range for you to work with.


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