Soft Sensing: Material Testing

Learning about Soft Sensing was fun. In this 2 days class slash workshop, I gained more understanding of using materials as sensors. Things that I never considered before. The first thing we did in class was creating a circuit using soft materials. It was really interesting how we actually make things using soft materials, not just wires, electronic parts, etc.

Materials:

  • Conductive thread
  • A piece of sheet
  • Conductive fabric

Components:

  • Battery
  • Battery holder
  • LED

We replaced wires with conductive threads and conductive fabric. And connected all components by sewing them on the sheet. Conductive thread and fabric are actually easy to work with. But we need to be careful not to make a short circuit. Don’t make the conductive thread/fabric close to each other or on top of each other to avoid short circuit.

Making a Circuit on Soft Materials
Making Circuit Using Soft Materials (Conductive Fabric)

The next thing we did was measuring the resistivity of materials. We took some resistive materials and measured their resistivity using multimeter. Then we also connected them to an arduino to know how was the values if we used them as sensors.

Measuring The Resistivity of Materials

We tested 4 materials:

  • Velostat/Linqstat
  • Eeonyx Pressure Sensing Fabric
  • Eeonyx Stretch Sensing Fabric
  • Eeonyx StaTex Conductive Fiber

And below is the results when we measured using Multimeter and Arduino:

Measuring Materials with Multimeter
Measuring Materials with Arduino

Every materials have its own characteristics. For example, for Velostat we need to sandwich it between other insulating materials to make it work easily. Or Eeonyx Stretch Sensing Fabric, the value actually goes down when we stretch it. But to be honest, for me Eeonyx Stretch and StaTex are materials that easiest to work with because the value between rest and active are really different.

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