Tag Archives: Wearable Computing

Channel your inner Wolverine with these 3D-printed, muscle-controlled bionic claws

via Arduino Blog

In the fictional Marvel Universe, Wolverine has sets of claws that pop out of his hands as if they were natural parts of his body. While a seemingly fantastic concept, myoelectric sensors are able to pick up on muscle movements in order to illicit a response. YouTuber MERT Arduino & Tech decided to take this concept and build a pair of forearm-mounted claws.

The wearable device senses muscle activation via a MyoWare muscle sensor, which sends information on to an Arduino Nano on a custom carrier board. Depending on the signal, it’s able to extend or retract claws, with the help of a servo motor and linkage system.

The project looks like a lot of fun, and more information can be found in the video’s description below. It’s also not the first time we’ve seen some 3D-printed bionic claws — similar instructions are available in this Make: tutorial.

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Finger Bend is a DIY textile flex sensor

via Arduino Blog

You can turn on an LED with a button or switch, but what about by bending your finger? Willpower Studios’ textile flex sensor, dubbed Finger Bend, presents a method for such an interface.

Inside the custom sleeve is a piece of piezoresistive stretch fabric, which is attached by copper threads to an Arduino Nano’s analog input pin. When a finger is curled, the light is then turned on and turned off again when straightened.

While an LED is interesting, this concept could be taken much further, perhaps using multiple digits for more intricate control. Details and code for the project is available in Willpower Studios’ write-up.

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This futuristic-looking device actively discourages you from touching your face

via Arduino Blog

For a variety of reasons, including potential virus transmission, it’s a bad idea to touch your face too often. If you need a little “help” to break this habit, then you might consider the STOP Face Touching Device by DesignMaker.

The system takes the form of a very sci-fi-looking helmet, which monitors the area around the user’s face with four IR sensors. An Arduino Nano is used for control of the device, and when you do touch your face, it responds by smacking your forehead with a motor/spring device. It also increases the number of touches on an OLED display. 

Between a slight amount of pain and the public shaming, perhaps your behavior will be modified. Alternatively, you can just check out the build/demo below for a bit of a laugh and maybe some inspiration!

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This Arduino-powered LED matrix mask responds to your voice

via Arduino Blog

When wearing a face mask nowadays, you can’t show expressions in the same ways that we’re all accustomed to. As a possible solution to this problem, programmer Tyler Glaiel decided to create a custom covering, with an 8×8 LED matrix that picks up his voice and imitates his mouth moving. It even allows him to smile by sensing when he makes a “pop” sound.

The build is entirely self-contained, with an Arduino Nano, 9V power supply, and electret microphone embedded in the mask’s translucent black cloth.

Instructions on how to make your own are available in Glaiel’s blog post, though he is quick to note that it’s not guaranteed to inhibit virus transmissions, and is meant as something of a novelty.

BiTipText enables text entry across two index finger-worn keyboards

via Arduino Blog

Typing with your thumbs on a smartphone has become an everyday activity for many, but what if you could enter text by simply tapping on your index fingers? With BiTipText, that may soon be a reality. 

The researchers’ prototype consists of an interactive skin overlay made out of flexible PCB material, allowing an Arduino Uno and MPR121 sensor chip to read capacitive signals from both digits. 

In testing, users were able to enter text at over 23 WPM, with a 0.03% uncorrected error rate. Notably, the two-handed implementation means that software can determine not only the position of presses, but the sequence of left/right inputs to help with word interpretation.

More details on the bimanual text input method can be found in the team’s paper here.

Control your smart devices with touch-sensitive fingernails

via Arduino Blog

Researchers at UNIST in South Korea have developed a novel system for smart device input using touch-sensitive fingernails, called Nailz.

As noted in the team’s paper, fingernails have long been augmented for cosmetic purposes and are extremely accessible, making them a perfect unobtrusive input platform.

The nail system. (Image: Lee et al.)

144 thumb/finger gestures were identified for the setup, with 29 selected as being most practical. This method was then tested with a 94.3 percent accuracy. Fingernails were augmented using flexible PCB material, along with an MPR121 capacitive sensing chip, and an accelerometer was also used to detect wrist movement. Input data for this experiment was obtained by an Arduino MKR WiFi 1010 and sent to a PC for further processing.

More details on the project can be found here