Life as a new media student



The Switch

In class today I talked with Steve about my final project. Last night I did some research on which sensors I would like to use for my project, and I think I may just be using pressure (force?…am I using the right word here?) sensors in the floor to activate my piece. Here are some websites that I found where people have made their own pressure sensors:

A group of designers that made a punching bag that contains a matrix of 9×7 sensors

A group of students make their own sensors for a project, I assume

I want the pressure sensors to cover quite a lot of floorspace therefore I’m looking for guides to make my own. Pressure sensors we looked at in class were tiny, relatively costly, and hey it would probably be a whole lot cooler if I could make my own, right?  So I talked to Steve and since I’m not going to be tracking where people are walking he suggested I make the simpler one (second link) …and when I say suggested I make it he told me to go and get aluminium foil and fibreglass mesh…we (more so he) literally made it in 5 seconds. The switch (two floor pads touching) actived an LED  and that is where I’m at right now. The only issue at this point is the switch getting stuck – turning on and staying on or not turning on at all. I’ve tried to resolve this by putting another layer of fibre mesh on one side of the flooring pads…this however didn’t work as the switch wouldn’t turn on at all. I think I should just risk it getting stuck rather than having it not work at all.  Here are some pictures of what I’ve got so far.

Flooring provided by the school (thanks!!), aluminium foil and fibreglass mesh (drywall tape)

Flooring provided by the school (thanks!!), aluminium foil and fibreglass mesh (drywall tape)

close up

Step on the floor and the led will turn on, woot!

Step on the floor and the led will turn on, woot!

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