Assignment 1: Wind Switch

“How can we toggle a switch without using our hands?” One answer, of course, was the Mustache Switch – and I have to admit, all of my early ideas were knockoffs of that concept… Maybe the user could furrow their eyebrows to turn the switch on; maybe the user could smile; or touch their chin to their chest; or press their foot on the floor; or, or, or.

Then I realized that I was thinking in the wrong direction. Making the user touch something with a part of their body that happens to not be a hand is just us being entrapped in an old way of thinking. Maybe we should make a switch that detects something on its own, without the user being involved.

Bingo! Why not a switch that turns on a light only when the wind is strong enough? A Wind Switch!

Assembly was quite straightforward, and required only a few easily accessible components, as you can see from the pictures:

Two strips of aluminum foil are attached to vertical sticks, and made to touch by gentle breeze. This makes the green LED to light up. The sensitivity of the switch to wind can be adjusted by adjusting how much the front strip bends away from the back strip.

And that is it! Here is a demo of how the switch works, with the face of yours truly providing the wind force: