As I move to the next phase on the IPON project, and before I commit to a circuit to be implanted in the first plush object, I was considering the following:
In my last post I presented the circuit I’ll be implanting in the plush objects; it used a force sensor (FSR) to be placed on the plush animal’s nose, which when pressed, will trigger the behavior response to that. (By the way I connected the sensor to a digital input, which means that the force applied, an analog value, was translated to either a 0 or a 1; it would have been better to use an analog pin and calibrate it so that it wouldn’t require so strong a force. The cutoff used on the digital pin requires too much force to be used.)
I’m thinking instead of a FSR to use a push-button, as it will represent a savings of over $5 per plush object (remember, this project’s intended goal is to serve as electronics teaching to high-school at-risk students. So price is an important design factor).
So given the prices below, I think I’m going to go with buttons instead:
Price consideration: FSR x pushbuttons
Now onto where I’m still undecided:
Trying to decide what is easier: conductive thread or conductive tape?
First the price comparison:
Conductive thread: I have no idea how much would be required per circuit
Will also need “snappy thingies” (they’re called sew-on snaps) to connect the soldered wire ends to sewing points (have no idea how many would be necessary).
Why I’m reluctant: well… sewing! (Can you tell I’m afraid?) Also a lot of work with the soldering and sewing, and it requires lots of manual precision, AND it is hard to undo (remember, changes to the circuit may occur throughout the project’s life). Hmm… maybe if this turns out to be a better option, I could save it for the final project when circuits are not likely to change anymore…
Conductive tape (see: Ni/Cu/Co FABRIC TAPE down the page)
Cost: $19.95, 1” x 25’ which I think it’s plenty since the 1” width yelds four 1/4” strips of tape that are what the circuit connections requires.
Why this seems like a better option to me: the circuit is easier to build, no soldering required, and it’s easy to undo if changes to the circuit occur (which are likely).
Pictured above are the cross-stitching fabric (whose hole spacing diagonally is perfect to fit the Arduino socket, or I may just use the mini breadboard), along with the roll of conductive fabric, conductive thread and the sew-on snap fasteners.
Which direction do you think I should go? The easier tape route, the sewing route, or something else altogether?