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Making a Touch Sensitive Suit

Geo_Fri

Sep 28, 2014
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Hello fellow tinkerers,

I am just proposing this project right now, but I think it could be really cool and almost grow to be a kind of art installation. Here's what I am thinking:

At the local farmer's market, I would set up two "under cover" booths at each end. There, I would have people line up to race across the entire farmer's market (it gets pretty crowded) and touch the least amount of people possible. I would set off about five from each station going the other way every five minutes or so, and track how many times they get touched (and give a penalty each time), their location via gps, and their time.

My problem right now, though, is how to make these suits, especially how to track if they have touched anyone. My ideas so far are just buying hundreds of Mini Push Button Switches or using FRS Capacative Sensors, though I think the second would be a bit far fetched as I have a low budget and I don't think it would do very well on something like joints. So my question is to you: "what would be the best low-budget system for this?" Any suggestions are appreciated, along with cheaper prices for the electronics I have shown.

Thanks,
Mr. Smith
 

donkey

Feb 26, 2011
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http://www.siongboon.com/projects/2007-11-29_touch_sensor/
go down to section 2.
simply wrap someone in al foil then when they touch someone it will be detected.
the issue is it won't detect if the touch clothes of a person to my knowledge.
you can try capacitive touch but that also requires skin, I have seen people make them from standard pencils and paper though.

the push button switches are the last choice, you need so many of them it wouldn't be feasible
 

KrisBlueNZ

Sadly passed away in 2015
Nov 28, 2011
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How about using an accelerometer to detect when the wearer bumps into something. It wouldn't work with a slight brush against someone, but a proper bump would cause a sudden deceleration that probably wouldn't occur for any other reason. Just thinking out loud here.
 

Harald Kapp

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Nov 17, 2011
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Many smartphones already have a built-in accelerometer. How about writing an app for a smartphone and use Kris' suggestion?

A problem I see with any kind of physical touch sensor is that you cannot easily distinguish between teh first contact when running into a person and subsequent contacts to this same person while passing him/her.
 
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