chebe: (InADream)
A time not so long ago, in this very land you're standing, some people were known to hang seaweed out to dry. Whenever the moisture in the air reached a certain level the seaweed would rehydrate; warning those around of rain.

Ruling out wearing seaweed around your neck, how can we use this knowledge to help us avoid getting wet? Thusly was the kelp neckpiece born!

Mannequin wearing black tshirt with white Dublin Maker logo, and a green felted kelp piece

Kelp neckpiece at Dublin Maker
Photo by chebe



I have already talked about parts of this project; in getting many LEDs to light up, and then getting the humidity sensor working. But to recap/elaborate;

Wonderful details )

There you have it; a felt neckpiece that warns you it might be about the rain. I began trying to leverage the extra information (temperature and pressure) from the sensor, and fit it onto local historical weather data to more accurately predict rain, but was pulled away from such indulgent pursuits by the need to complete the other pieces.

Collaborations

2014-May-19, Monday 07:19 pm
chebe: (Default)
The theme for this year does very much seem to be collaborations. So many talented, hard-working, fascinating people with great ideas to work with! It hurts to not be able to do everything. But sometimes, even if I can't go somewhere my projects find their way regardless.

First [twitter.com profile] partfusion and [twitter.com profile] Jeffrey_Roe wandered off to MakerFaireUK with a couple. But then [twitter.com profile] partfusion absconded, with the glove I was working on at Artek, to MakerFaireBayArea(!). It's more traveled than I am at this point. Speaking of, [twitter.com profile] partfusion has started his own collaboration, resulting in some beautiful garments. I mean, just look at that RGB crinoline! I'm in serious want.

In the meantime I'm at home, working hard on other projects. I'm currently working with Niki Collier, an amazing fibre artist and maker. We're working on a series of interactive jewellery pieces, hopefully for Dublin Maker at the end of July. We're coming to the end of our first prototype of the first piece. (The idea of finished pieces is rather a strange one to me, who's lucky to finish a single prototype. It's an interesting experience!)

Niki has been posting updates on the facebook page (warning; awkward photos of me trying not to pose). The first piece is inspired by an old Irish practice I've never actually heard of before. Apparently, some people would leave kelp out to dry, and leave it there. As the air got more humid the kelp would rehydrate, giving a visual warning that it was going to rain. Of course, carrying around kelp isn't conducive to modern living, but wouldn't a heads-up that it was about to rain be very useful?

Cue a felted neck-piece to resemble kelp, a bunch of LEDs, and a humidity sensor.

Early prototype days; some felted leaves incorporating LEDs, and a whole mess of crocodile leads

Early prototype; viva la crocodile leads!
Photo by chebe




Prototype with LEDs mostly soldered into felt tube to be worn around the neck, and other components still connected with crocodile leads

More recent prototype; LEDs mostly connected up, other components still connected with crocodile leads
Photo by chebe



I was hoping to use the Gemma for this, and I have videographic proof that it did work during the early prototypes. But something has gone wrong in the meantime. Worst scenario we'll use the Flora, but I'm hoping to figure out what the problem is.

We're using a cheap-and-cheerful humidity sensor (with built in temperature sensor). Getting it working was extremely easy, once I figured out that I needed this library, and that the samples included show you how to do everything. Really great library!

So now I'm trying to figure out the problem with the Gemma, and starting to look into the next piece. This collaboration thing is turning out to be a lot of fun.
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