Road Winder 1: Construction

In the spring I was invited to be artist in residence with ArtScapes, Gibraltar point on Toronto Island. The residency included daily classes on coding and circuitry to build soft, wearable tech. It was a dream. I used the program as an opportunity to begin construction on something I’ve always wanted to build: a haptic compass belt. I found an Instructable to follow and ordered the Arduino parts from SparkFun.

Liz Lessner’s introduction to wearable tech included 17th century abacus rings. I broke a sweat twice during the week keeping up to her coding instruction. I followed my Instructible to build 8 circuits that receive signals to control tiny motors and put together the compass.

Over the summer I got the 8 circuits into parallel and used Liz’s modified code to get the compass to work but the whole thing was far too fragile to wear. I went to Michael of Krazatchu System Designs for guidance with the final soldering a code and he effortlessly redesigned the entire system and sent his designs to a board manufacturer long before I got my prototype working.

His new boards arrived a few days later. We put the parts together and he invented new code to improve battery efficiency and wearability which involved bending our brains around xyz axis’s for a few hours.

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