Help / suggestions needed for potential wearable tech workoshop on the 25th of October

Hi All,

As I briefly mentioned last night I would love some input on a workshop we have been asked to organise and run on the 28th of October.

The general idea is to have a workshop on wearable and interactive tech (something cheap and fun) which participants can showcase during Brisbane on Parade ( a g20 community parade on the 1st of November)

Any ideas on what we could do and where we could find the materials would be much appreciated.

Also if anyone is able to help let me know… We would really need some :u6307:


Couple of things:

  • I hear that the government may throw upwards of $1k at this, is this correct?

  • I see that this event begins at sunset. In terms of “easy and fun”, I imagine (tophat + LED strip + tiny Arduino-like device + battery) could be simple enough. If we commit to this, I will lay down some groundwork on the programming side, such that it could be customised but also works “out of the box”.

  • We’ll need a few people to run the event; soloing the EL wire class was hard (thanks @boo!)

I’ve already ordered the parts for my wearable tech implementation: smart glasses.

A small lithium cell, a 1W LED, a bluetooth receiver, an audio amplifier and a bone vibration transducer will be mounted to my glasses to make a Google Glass-like interface (but minus the screen + camera). I plan to set it up with some voice control on my phone in order to show what it can do. The parts will hopefully arrive before the 28th, but there’s a small chance they won’t. If anybody’s interested in seeing it working I can try to have it finished by then. I’d also be happy to help out with planning and on the day.

It sounds like what they’re after isn’t a serious demonstration of useful wearable tech, but just a copy of this

If we’re making some blinky LED gadgets, colored 1 watt LEDs are getting very very cheap. Colored 5M cuttable LED strips are also very cheap.

1 Like

For the tiny arduino like I’d hands down recommend the Cheapduino from DFrobot. They work out to be about $4 each in a pack of 5, have 3 digital and 3 analog I/O and can be run off a coincell. It does however require a separate FTDI or ICSP programmer as to make them that small and cheap they’ve sacrificed both the voltage regulation and the programming pads/ftdi chip.

I’ve used over 50 of these in various workshops and they’ve kept trucking even when workshop attendees powered them backwards or subjected them to a cheap, too hot iron.

1 Like

The budget will be of about $ 2,500

Also the parade Starts at 4pm and finishes at 5:30-6 so that might be an issue if we rely too much on light features.

I don’t really see what is going to be visible in a parade (which won’t take a few solid weeks of mechanical engineering) that doesn’t rely heavily on lighting features…

Yeah, parades to show off micro devices is a bit difficult. We could buy a bulk pack of small neodymium magnets and make some 3D printed (and then molded) magnetically levitated vertical windmills on top of our glowing top hats.

Some lasercut non-functioning Google Glass knockoffs similar to @Boo’s glasses could at least appear to be part of this week’s tech buzzword (wearables).

So long as we make sure things are bright enough to see in the day, lights wouldn’t be an issue. This just means the LEDs have to be higher-power, and EL wire is out of the question (sadface :frowning: ). A workshop assembling & programming some animations on LED rope = a great idea. A LED matrix badge is another option we can definitely do in time. Both have easy ways we can expand their functionality to be more interactive (switch, photodiode, IR proximity sensor, bluetooth proximity sensor, etc).

So long as a blue card isn’t necessary, I’ll put my hand up to assist with the course (and with prepping things). I can’t champion this but if someone else gives me a task I’ll do it.

1 Like

“A workshop assembling & programming some animations on LED rope = a great idea. A LED matrix badge is another option we can definitely do in time”

does anyone have an idea of the amount of components needed per 'kit" ? the approximate duration of a workshop? and the total cost of materials per person?

I’m no expert in this area but I will be happy to help :smile:

I’m having trouble understanding who this is aimed at. I thought we were just parading in the parade. If we are doing a workshop, how many people do we need to cater for, who are they, and what can we spend? I’ve helped organise plenty of light parade gadgets when i was in Cairns, so I’ve been looking at stuff we can do for cheap. It’s SO much cheaper buying the pre-made lighting gadgets, but we can make some sort of interactive electronics I’m sure.

Do we know how many people we should be putting through this workshop, how many workshops we will be running or how long we have to run them, and if we’re targeting kids or adults or both?

As a fallback idea, the WeevilEye can be bought from LittleBird for $10 apiece and we can have 35 within a week. Hot-glue a pin on the back and it’s now wearable. You can probably say an hour or so per workshop, when you consider people sharing a few soldering irons and explaining how it works, how to solder correctly & safely, etc.

This isn’t necessarily the best project since it’s not really that interactive (hooking the photodiode up to a 555 timer to change its blinking speed would look better imo), this isn’t the best price for what it is since it’s just two LEDs hooked up to a photodiode, and they only have 35 in stock. But it’s an idea and all the pieces are there. Replicating this kit ourselves at a lower price for a hundred kits should be doable, if needed. Just gotta make sure we can get the parts in time.

My challenge to everyone else- I know this is a very low bar. Someone beat this idea! :smiley:

1 Like

Top Hat $10
10x Addressable LEDs $8
Arduino-ish Board $2.75
L7805 Vreg $0.15
4 AA or AAA batteries. $?

$21 per unit to make us all Abraham Blinken. Could be much cheaper if we can find different hats etc to afix the LEDs to. To make it interactive we could use the capsense library and just solder a single wire running out to gloves or something so that when you shake somebody’s hand or clap, your hat changes color.

Each LED is 0.3W and 8mm in diameter, so they won’t be hard to see even in daylight.

We could afford over 100 of these within the proposed budget, but if we want to do it we need to order parts ASAP to get them here in time. We might need to fork out for airmail to ensure they’ll be here.

If we want to really impress whoever it is throwing money at us, we could send every participant home with a smart watch. This would be far cooler to boast about online (could even get us in the paper), but not a really eye catching piece in a parade.
Screen $5.70
Arduino-ish $2.75
Bluetooth Board $4.90
Battery $5.20
Charging Board $1

Unit price: $20

We could make 50 sets of both of these within Victor’s proposed budget (although the time required would mean multiple sessions over several different days).

1 Like

That’s a great idea, but the quickest shipping offered on all of those items except the top hat is the 28th-30th of October… Finding parts we can reliably source in time is going to be the real kicker here. :frowning:

We could do the workshop with smart watches afterwards, and find some local (or at least faster shipping) parts for the flashy hats.

Here’s a slightly more expensive alternative part which can be here on time:
Arduino-ish $4.50
10x Addressable LEDs $16 + postage
7805s can be bought anywhere for cheap.

These can all be here before the 20th.

Ok So,… James thank you for taking the lead on this :smile:

Mistake on my part: the Workshop would take place on the 25th and not the 28th… sorry guys.

I have already sent an email to all the suppliers on ebay asking them what their best bulk price is and what is their fastest shipping… I have sent an e-mail to the organisers of Brisbane on Parade with our proposal. I will also have a chat with them first thing tomorrow morning to get some funds ASAP.

James how much time do you think it will take participants to build their Abraham Binkens? We could either do 2 workshops (one from 10am to 1pm and the other from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm) or 4 workshops (from 10am to 11:30 am, from 11:30 t0 1pm, from 1:30pm to 3pm, from 3pm to 4:30 pm).

Also on the same day of the workshop we will be providing some space to Reverse Garbage, which will be conducting a dress like a robot workshop.

Welp, that rules me out for the building side.

If y’all want a program to run on them, I can still throw something together

The only problem I see here is that you don’t have any boards to solder the power stuff to, plus the smoothing capacitor for the 7805 regulators arn’t accounted for. a few cheap caps and a bit of stripboard would solve that problem.

Hi Guys,

Unfortunately, because of lack of time and certainty of materials being ordered I have decided to change the focus of the workshop from building a single wearable led hat… to organising an event which revolves around the construction of the Hackabot ad its decoration + if we can manage to use what has been ordered and what we have on the premises to build some cool things for people to wear, even better!. I have run this down with Pauline (the organiser of the Brisbane on Parade) and she is fine with it and will proceed to publicize the event. Below Is a draft of what the event is going to be about. ( I will be making an official announcement on the Blog, on facebook, on the forum and on meetup tomorrow) Obviously, because of the limited amount of time available, help is needed.



HSBNE is building their own Hackabot for Brisbane On Parade!! Check out who we are and our builds in progress, and we will organise some wearable tech for you to take home.

HSBNE is building a robot based on the design of Teo Jensen’s Strandbeest. The Dutch designer has been working on these contraptions since 1990, and has produced a mechanical leg design which holds several advantages over wheels. Similarly to how an internal combustion engine converts linear motion into rotational motion, the Strandbeest’s legs convert rotational motion into repeated steps.

By connecting two sets of legs with a motor driving each, we are able to create a very smooth steerable walking robot on a large scale.

Here is an example of a toy version of an electric strandbeest…

Now, the one we are building is going to be much much bigger !! … Though not quite the size of the original ones … Some are more than 10 meters Wide and 4 meters tall !

Come along to learn more about our Strandbeest and see the build progress. We will explain all the process, the mechanics, the electronics and the programming involved. This will be in addition to interactive activities to demonstrate all of the concepts employed.

We have 3d printers, a CNC (we could show off the one in the woodworking room … I’ll also talk to Lionel about his) laser cutter (I may be able to get access to a small Laser cutter with an A4 bed for the day) and lots of other advanced equipment at our disposal!

Help us decorate the Hackabot and use the tools and materials we have to make cool wearable tech items to take home.

Snacks and refreshments are available on site!
Click here to Reply

Stranded beest LOL if it needs ply or acrylic type parts laser cut up to 290 mm by 190 mm up to 6mm thick but 4mm would be easier can someone please point me to the design files that are definitely going to use for this build.