For this task, the main goal was to develop a switch to turn on an LED light in a creative fashion without using our hands. After much pondering, I decided to create a simple yet effective way of connecting people through a bracelet switch.
The personal objective I had for this task was to try to find a way of creating a light switch that would connect two people through collaboration. In class, the satisfaction of simply turning on a LED with the push of a button was the highlight of my day. Through this assignment, I wanted to spread this same excitement with someone else. Thus, I considered two ways of elaborating this. The first was to use any conductive material attached to a body part to create a switch. The second was to utilize other conductive items or objects to have the same effect. In the end, I decided to focus on the second method and play around with the concept of a “friendship bracelet”; this led to the development of creating a bracelet switch.
Some initial ideas I considered before arriving to the conclusion of connecting with others was to attach buttons to clothing materials and pushing them together to turn on the LED, making “workout” switches that would require a person to stretch in a specific position for the switch to work, or even to make a switch that connected directly to one’s foot. Nevertheless, in the end I decided that it would be better to utilize switches that would include others, making the switch more interactive along the way.
After finally settling on an idea for the assignment, I then obtained the materials that would be needed. Since I had no bracelets that could conduct electricity, I obtained several strands of conductive paper and conductive thread to wrap around the objects. Through this manner, it was ensured that the bracelet would conduct electricity in its entirety. Below are images of the process of wrapping up the bracelets, the original items I used, and the final version of the bracelet.
After doing this, I used more conductive thread to connect one bracelet to the “ground” wire in the RedBoard, and the other to the wire in the “ground” slot of the breadboard. In this manner, both bracelets would be connected to the circuit and their interaction would cause the light to turn on. This is demonstrated in the following images and video:
As is seen in the videos below, this type of switch would allow for people to interact with each other in different ways in order to turn on the LED.
This other example technically includes hands, but regardless, I thought it was an interesting additional way of using the switch.
Before elaborating the switch, I first wanted to further understand how circuits work and what is actually happening with the components. Attached below are some notes I took as a means of trying to grasp the topics in class a bit more, to then apply to this assignment. The sources I used were https://itp.nyu.edu/physcomp/lessons/electronics/electricity-the-basics/ , https://itp.nyu.edu/physcomp/labs/labs-electronics/breadboards , and https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/redboard-hookup-guide
Overall, this assignment was a great opportunity to apply concepts learned in class such as circuits, resistance, and voltage in a creative way that could also help to connect with others in an entertaining manner. Regardless of the fact that my creation is quite simple, I believe it fulfills the purpose of sharing the small joy experienced when turning this LED light through one’s own means. This assignment also gave me the opportunity of having exposure for the first time to circuits and electronics, something I did not think I would have enjoyed as much as I did during this task.