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Class 10: Wearables#

Global Instructor: Liza Stark

This second class on the topic of wearables and e-textiles will provide a more advanced coverage on soft sensors and actuators.

Program Outline#

  • Introduction (10 min)
  • What does it mean to be wearable? What factors and variables must we take into consideration?
  • (Show projects related to agenda)

  • Actuators (70 min)

  • What are different types of outputs? How do we control them? What are transducers?
  • Visual
  • LEDs
  • Neopixels
  • Optical fibers
  • Thermochromic ink + heated circuit/code
  • Sound
  • Fabric speakers + amplifier circuits/code
  • Motion
  • Shape memory alloy + high load circuit/code
  • Flip dot
  • Flapping wing
  • Mini vibration motors
  • Powering circuits

  • ATtiny (35 min)

  • Intro - miniaturizing, pinout, etc
  • Programming the ATtiny
  • Touch/sensor circuit (the same one I did at the workshop)
  • Sound circuit with stretch sensor

  • Wireless (35 min)

  • RF, EMF circuits
  • Antennas

  • eTextile Tools (10 min)

  • Why create tools to support your practice
  • Pin probes
  • Continuity testers
  • Measuring resistance
  • References


  • Multimeter
  • Soldering iron (Soldering station)
  • Pliers, wire stripper, flush snips, tweezers
  • Vinyl cutter
  • Embroidery / Sewing machine
  • Needles
  • Arduino IDE


Material Details
Microcontroller Arduino UNO or ATtiny
ATtiny ATtiny45 or ATtiny85
AVR programmer or Arduino UNO
Arduino kit Arduino Starter kit
Neopixels sewable Flora neopixels and neopixels strip
Fiber optical fibers
Circuit Playground optional
FTDI cable or FTDI board
Motor driver
Fabrics resistive/conductive fabrics
Threads resistive/conductive threads
Wires jumpers, alligator clips wires
Velostat pressure-sensitive conductive sheet
Adjaustable wall adapter find the right plug based on your location
Copper tape + isulating tape
Actuators mini vibration motors, speakers with amplifier and MP3 player
DFPlayer mini + sdcard mini MP3 module
Shape memory alloy


  • Document your idea , sketches, references and research
  • Create a swatch using an attiny with one input and one output of your choice, using hard-soft connection solutions and battery
  • Create 2 actuator swatches and test them with the Arduino or ATtiny
  • Learn how to program and ATTiny, add the libraries and links you used for your code
  • Document the schematic and the programming code, libraries you had to add and calculations
  • Upload a small video of your object working
  • EXTRA POINT Integrate it to a project

Evaluation and assessment#

Check the Assessment Criteria


Fabricademy Tutorials - Wearables

Kobakant - actuators

Last update: October 31, 2022