Week 11 Wearable Tech Updates

Last week, I was drawing this to collect my thoughts and it helped me figure out the logistics of my tech

Last week’s electronics setup:

LED + wifi
Servo + wifi

Last week’s progress:

I managed to complete the jumpsuit with help from Galina for the zippers and connecting the 2 pieces together!

Galina also taught me how to sew button holes which was very fun!!

What’s left for the jump suit is for me to hand sew the buttons, to create button holes for the sleeves, to add front pockets, and belt holding thing. But that’s not my priority now.

This week, I’m working on the cape and armour pieces.

This Week’s Progress: (incomplete as theres more days this week to work on this!)

I was playing with the materials to create the look of desert beetles, but it failed so I will just stick to the pvc without material alterations.

putting pins before heating it to create round bumps but it ended up folding
only heating the PVC creates this effect

Cutting and putting things together: I was experimenting with the materials and turns out its more flimsy than I previously thought. It’s also much thinner than I thought so it doesn’t look as good if it’s single layered. Sewing 2 pieces together makes it look better, which means now I need 2x the amount of PVC ($$$$$$$!!!!!!) but at least I have 1m left of the pink piece which I’m not gonna use as pink contrasts too much with my garment. I’m switching to green instead.

What was previously the neck piece was tested on the shoulder to see how it looks like as a shoulder piece.

I was having a hard time trying to figure out which cloth to use. Using both cloth together with the armour will make the whole look very weird. Too much is going on. Using only 1 cloth and the armour works, but I need to decide which to remove. In the end, I removed the metallic mesh cloth.

The final decision (except the pink parts will now be green)\

I also started sewing the cape piece to make it more frilly / have pleats. So yeah. (no pics tho)

So in conclusion, this week was more of a start of the next phase, and I am more or less confirmed for the entire design and I’m happy with it. I’m gonna continue the cape till I’m happy with it then I’ll start with the armour which is gonna be a pain 🙁 and I need to go buy the PVC also. Hopefully finish this by week 12 end so I can finish the electronics and have time to finish up the small details. And also work with Shah with the fashion runway!!! AHHHH!!!

Oh and also Mayle was working on a PVC vest and I took a pic of the pattern so I can tweak it (thanks Mayle!!!)

it’s actually just a pants pattern but if you drape it over the shoulder it becomes some kind of vest which looks like my chest armour!

My sketch of how I think it will look like:

The perfect vision of my garment

Ok out of topic but I think what helped me a lot was to imagine my concept as an Overwatch character. Anyway, here’s an updated concept:

Concept: nomad from a future dystopia city which is covered in dust from sandstorm due to desertification and global warming. Cyberpunk elements (iridescent armour + tech) to create a sense of urban-ness (because he’s still from a city) and sandy garment to blend with the desert city. A bit of inspiration from beetles also (in terms of their colour and appearance)

ALSO… I’m thinking what if the controller on my belt can control which city to look at. And because different cities have different temperatures and pollution levels, the values will cause the garment to react to it. Hmmm…

More Updates & Electronics

Presentation

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/17-Pvo66K8ttybAE1qZW7n7R4OzupP-roymF4opGizro/edit?usp=sharing

Updates

I would really like to thank Galina for helping me with the sleeves, collars, and the fitting! Also… IT HAZ POCKETS NOW!!! The pockets are really useless for my concept but having them makes the garment looks really whole and useable after the show, AND I LOVE IT! THANK YOU MOTHER GALINA :’))) Without you my garment will be just a floppy beige thing that’ll be thrown to a corner after the show…

Anw, so here are images of the growth of my garment…

It starts from me working on my “final” on my own and….. turns out many things I’m doing is wrong.

Although I got some parts correct, the overall look is quite shabby. I’m ok with it, but turns out it can be much much better.

I went to buy more fabric as I ran out, but then I saw a nicer fabric and it costs $8/m at Gim Joo. I thought I can redo it and do better so I Bought 3m. Came back to school to cut. Lucky Galina spotted that I was cutting it in the wrong direction (not along the grain) so she flipped it for me. After cutting, I went to sew the back and front pieces together, then Galina started teaching everyone on how to work on the sleeves.

I then worked on the other sleeve of the shirt (note: this image may not be the sleeves part cos I didnt document the process :’) )

After finishing the sleeves, the garment looks like this:

So afterwards we worked on the lapels, then the collar. Again, not well documented process, but heres an image of Galina ironing the collar!

nice!

To finish the collar, I have to handstitch the collar and facing so it will be nice and invisible. Galina showed me how to do it and I brought it back to hall to finish it.

Here’s some photos of me looking at the mirror after sewing!

After being happy about the collar, I sew the pants and wore the pieces together:

I m the star in mario games — i forgot who said it

Galina helped me with the fitting afterwards to make sure that I can bend my body with it.

Can’t really see much here, but the fitting is better. The sides are tucked in cos they’re cut and restitched, while the front and back are slack to allow bending

Then, we begin with the pockets. There’s nothing much to see cos I didnt document this also :’)

Now, I’m just left with the zipper and buttons and then I’ll refine the sleeve ends and pants ends and I think I’m done with the garment. Then… the tech part. Which I’m working on right now.

Concept

Ok you see, although my concept have always been revolving around the futuristic cyberpunkish desert, I haven’t really gotten the hang of the exact things I want. So today I clarified it. I also tuned it to fit what I can do and what’s best for a wearable, while also noting that this is a 13 week school project.

Previously, I had an illuminator, respirator, a cape, and sensors on arm that are like armour. Now, I want to make use of the belt and tone down on the components on the garment itself, so I can still impact viewers with the show, make it easy for me, and also stick to the theme.

  • The illuminator now lights up all the time.
  • The temperature and pollution sensors now uses IoT so I dont need actual sensors anymore
  • The mask is the only part that has a motor. This is because motor costs a lot of electricity and very bulky to wear on
  • The belt will now be a piece of armour, and it conceals the utility items (knife, bottle, device)

Code & Electronics

I was playing with OpenWeatherMap API, after Naga recommended it to me. I tried many codes but it doesn’t work and was going to give up. But yesterday, I consulted Zi Feng and we figured out a bit of the code, and I think it was like those kind of moment where you dont look at code for a while and come back and you realised how things work… Yeah… So it worked for me.

So basically, I used the api with the api key and I ran it in arduino and the code will generate the information and pluck out what’s relevant (temperature, humidity, wind speed, etc)

http://api.openweathermap.org/data/2.5/weather?q=singapore,sg&appid=[insertAPIkeyhere]

Then I switched to this other API called Air Visual which has much more information (including pollution)

http://api.airvisual.com/v2/nearest_city?lat=1.3521&lon=103.8198&key=[insertAPIkeyhere]

So after figuring out how API works, I’m able to draw relevant information directly from the website to my NodeMCU wifi module. This means that I don’t even need an external program (eg. Python) to feed my program.

Here it’s taking temperature and humidity

So I’ve decided to use this instead of components so I can lessen the wires and energy. I worked long enough with wifi to have enough faith with it i guess…

So I tried using the data to control servos and LEDs, it worked. But after a while I think the servos burnt out (SORRY ZIFENG I WILL Buy BACK FOR U :((( ) so I needed to plan properly for the power and components.

Photo documentation of code:

Circuit

Prototype main component with servo and LED
Prototype arm component with LED

Electronics Logistics:

  • 3x NodeMCU (ESP8266 wifi modules)
    • Main controller
    • Temperature arm armour
    • Pollution arm armour
    • IF POSSIBLE: 1 more for Device controller
  • 4x 3.7V Lipo batteries (or higher but not more than 5V) 
    • Main NodeMCU + main LED
    • Mask servo motor
    • Temperature arm armour NodeMCU + temperature LED
    • Pollution arm armour NodeMCU + pollution LED
    • IF POSSIBLE: 1 more for Device controller
  • 4x LED strips
    • Main LED (10 bulbs)
    • Shoulders LED (50 bulbs)
    • Temperature LED (20 bulbs)
    • Pollution LED (20 bulbs)
    • IF POSSIBLE: a few bulbs for Device controller
  • 1x servo motor
    • Mask servo
    • IF NEED: another one for mask servo to make it more reliable. (if that’s so, need add 1 more Lipo)

What’s next?

After today’s breakthrough, I’m gonna start getting the necessary stuffs

  • Code for individual electronics
  • Buy whatever’s left that I need
  • Work on final armour pieces
  • Put electronic together
  • Refine garment
  • Test test test! and also charge my batteries.

So for today’s presentation, I’ll show my progress with electronics and my plans.

Moodboard (Updated!)

Update: After biomimicry research critique, I kinda wanna change some of the elements in my design to make them more sustainable rather than just copying a certain retro-futuristic style (even though I love it).

Also: I REALISED I NEVER EDIT THE KEYWORDS PART SO IM GONNA WORK ON THAT.

Information Arts: Intersection of Art, Science and Technology

This encyclopedia-like book by Stephen Wilson investigates the relationship between art, technology, research, and science to discover that they are interconnected in many ways.

A brief introduction

Technology is always associated with science, and science is always associated with the frontiers of technological advancements. But this notion of the specialisation of roles in science and art is a idea that only started since the Renaissance. Art making and scientific research actually goes through similar methodologies, as well as pushes the boundaries of technology. For the longest time, people have always been creating and inventing, figuring out how something works before knowing why it does. This intuitiveness and creativity generate new ways of using technology, while a deeper understanding of its mechanisms further pushes it; all in all improving and generating new technology. In this manner, art and science worked hand-in-hand in the creation of technology. Are we able to break away from the notion of art being “creative” and science being “technical”? This book aims to address that issue and see how art and science is coming together in the information age.

The book

Included in the book are some of the best research-inspired artworks that Wilson believes to be thought-provoking and revolutionary, in hopes to challenges our notion of art and science.

Wilson explains the relevant ideas in understandable chunks in the introduction, followed by a categorisation of works based on a group of topics (eg. “Biology: Microbiology, Animals and Plants, Ecology, and Medicine and the Body”). Within the categories, Wilson further explains information that is relevant to the topics and lists a few artists that uses such ideas.

Example, in the Biology category, Wilson explains Bionics and stated examples like a nerve chip that Stanford researchers created which reads nerve signals, decodes them, and operate prosthetics. Wilson then goes further in depth to look at individual artists what delves in different aspects of biology. For example, in the “Medicine and the Body” subcategory, he lists down notable artists like Stelarc, Marcel.li Antunez Roca, ORLAN, and their notable works with a brief description and other relevant information.

In “Third Hand”, A manipulable robotic arm is attached to the body activated by the host via EMG (sometimes from other body areas) or tele-operated by others. Images taken from https://stelarc.org/?catID=20265

Personal thoughts

I had no time to read through everything, but I was really interested in many of the examples and ideas he listed, especially under the “Medicine and the Body” section as that is within my current interest. It is a very comprehensive and informative book which talks about a really relevant topic in our current time.

I am also interested to learn more about what he said about science, art, and technology. I guess I find it relatable as pop-science (despite its bad reputation as being too watered down) really inspires me. Video channels like VSauce and Kurzgesagt shaped my ideas and thoughts to where I am now, and I love to base my project and works around these ideas.

Source:

Wilson, Stephen. Information Arts: Intersections of Art, Science and Technology. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2002.