Working with Lilypad Arduino is something I’ve wanted to try for a while now – but simply haven’t found the time! Knowing that BarCampGeelong was only a few weeks away spurred me into action. First, I read up on the Lilypad Arduino tutorials from Leah Buechley. Running Ubuntu, I had already installed the Arduino IDE from the software manager, so I was good to go.
So, what sort of project was simple enough to allow me to get the hang of this new technology while still presenting enough of a challenge to be interesting? I decided on a scarf that would detect light levels, with the aim of turning on some bright white LEDs if light levels were too low.
First, I needed a scarf. I decided on this Dropped! lace openwork pattern so that the components could be sewn in with conductive thread and not look out of place. I also thought about what type of material to make the scarf out of – in case any of the electronic components overheated and melted or caught on fire. I chose a 98% wool blend – ‘Beulah’ by Sean Sheep – nice and cheap too in case the project didn’t work out.
Next, I needed some Arduino Lilypad components – which are now available in Australia from Little Bird Electronics. For this project, I used;
- Lilypad main board – http://littlebirdelectronics.com/products/lilypad-arduino-328-main-board
- Lilypad light sensor – http://littlebirdelectronics.com/products/lilypad-light-sensor
- Lilypad e-sewing kit with conductive thread – http://littlebirdelectronics.com/products/lilypad-e-sewing-kit
- Lilypad power supply – http://littlebirdelectronics.com/products/lilypad-power-supply