Positivity Hat Documentation by Kai Zheng
Beginning this final project, I had the inspiration of EFT in mind. I recently went to a health and wellness workshop and was introduced to emotional freedom techniques or EFT. The psychologist got everyone to do tap on their heads, their faces, their chests, all the way to our forearms and hands. I found this process to be very interesting and it really got me inspired for my final talking fabrics project.
The main function of my project is that it’s meant to be a hat that when you touch when tapping, it will teach you how to say the positive, healthful comments to yourself. For example, these 3 phrases:
My Chinese is very good.
Even though [I expect others to validate me], I deeply and completely accept myself.
I will speak the truth to myself.
I recorded these phrases with audacity, converted everything to a .mp3 file, and uploaded all of that to the microSD card. This microSD card was then mounted to the MP3 shield, which Professor Antonius kindly lent out to me. I learned that shields were like hats that allowed the Arduino to have even more functionality. Once the shield was connected to Arduino, they could communicate with each other. However, I also had to put another hat/shield in between the Arduino and the MP3 shield because someone already soldered the holes into the MP3 shield.
Following all of the coding, which I have a screen video of here:
I had to transfer all of this onto an actual piece of fabric. That would be my hat. I made the hat earlier in the day. It looked like this:
Then, I sewed some reinforcements to get the Arduino to not slip off as easily. I also had to make 3 soft push buttons so that those would trigger the audio to play. I made the soft push buttons by cutting a hole in a piece of square shaped fabric. There would be two tails that had conductive thread sewn into them. And, that way, when those two tails touched, it would complete the circuit, and the code would recognize that trigger and play the corresponding track.
Final Version of my Positivity Hat:
Ultimately, I believed I learned a great deal in making my Positivity Hat. However, to improve in the future, I have two suggestions. 1) Make the hat more wearable, meaning, a better design for the fabric part of the hat. I could either come up with a bigger compartment to fit the Arduino and the battery, or move onto learning how to use a Lilypad. In either case, I would need to learn how a hat can be worn on a round head, because right now, it can sit on a flat table, which isn’t its intended purpose. 2) I would make the push buttons either more sensitive or more noticeably present so that people will know exactly what to push. I could experiment with another way to create a more obvious push button that didn’t need to be fiddled in the pull-up-then-down way. All these suggestions are to make the hat more functional and improve the prototype.
Here are all the materials I used for my Positivity Hat:
Felt (any color)
Wires that go into the Arduino
Breadboard to prototype
Push buttons to prototype
Arduino hat to put in between the MP3 shield and Arduino
External battery that could be plugged into an Arduino