By Tim Teatro
If you’ve got the artistic spark, then the Arduino LilyPad can help you put a little techy spice into your clothing.
The LilyPad Arduino is a small circuit board containing a really small micro-controller designed to be stitched into clothing. It can be programmed to blink lights, read data from sensors, make sounds, move servos or motors or any number of things your creative mind can conjure. With very little electronics knowledge and some patience, you can come up with some amazing things! A hat that blinks when you jump, a shirt that displays the strength of wireless signals around you? Sew some tactile pads onto the thighs of your jeans so that when you slap your needs you get a drum beat or a light show. How about a colour organ style light show on your shit that pulsates based on the music around you. Possibilities are endless.
Halloween is the perfect time to show off your creative projects. Feel free to post pictures here in the comments section of this page!
Check out this wonderful video tutorial for getting started with the LilyPad:
Don’t forget to check out YouTube to get some inspiration from others!
You can Google around for a local retailer, or order on-line. In the GTA, you can buy Arduino products and accessories at Creatron. Creatron also does on-line orders. A LilyPad costs about twenty bucks, and then you need some conductive thread and some components!
For ordering LED lights, sensors, and various components, DigiKey.ca is a great source with a flat rate shipping and free shipping on orders over $200.00. For projects where you need perhaps bulk quantities of LED lights, DigiKey price adjusts for volume. That is, you pay less per piece if you buy 10 instead of 5, and even less if you buy 50. If anyone is interested, I have a parts list for some good quality but inexpensive LEDs available from DigiKey.