• Melina Fourtune

Lab Weeks - Wearable - Group 21

Updated: Jun 20, 2019

Day 1 (June 3rd) - During our first day our team started by researching and listing all the types of wearables we could find. We then each on our own came up with many ideas and we shared them and voted on them. We started with the idea with the most votes which is a fan that turns on based on the temperature.

We tried to measure temperature with an Arduino digital temperature sensor. We struggled quite a bit with this. At first the temperature read was way too high but the sensor showed warmer temperature as we touched it and get cooler when we didn’t. Then we tried to calibrate it by turning a little screw but I think it just broke it because it started showing random values. We didn't manage to fix it and we were getting bored and unmotivated so we gave up and moved on.

We also decided to play around we different sensors so we started with a proximity sensor. At first we simply connected it to the plot monitor to see distances, then we added a speaker that makes a sound when you get too close to the sensor. And finally we made the speaker beep faster as an object moves nearer to the sonar.

Left and right pictures by Mercedes

Day 2 (June 4th) - I kept on working on the proximity sensor. I made a ‘robot’ which rotates from right to left and back. When it detects something near it, it stops moving and starts beeping.

Rick and I created sunglasses out of paper and attached a servo to it that lifts the shaded lenses from the main structure so the glasses can protect the user from light on command. Then we connected it to a light sensor so that they would lift depending on the amount of light. At the end we made it so the lenses would be up by default but once the light reaches a certain threshold they go down to protect the user from all this light.

Video by Mercedes

Day 3 (June 5th) - The plan of the day was to make the sunglasses out of real glasses (instead of paper) and I thought it would be a quick project before we move on to something else, but we ended up facing many challenges. The challenges were mostly about engineering the physical glasses out of plastic frames and placing rotating lenses on it. Placing the servo and the light sensor on the glasses in a way that the lenses can still rotate correctly was quite difficult and this whole task ended up taking up the whole day. We were rewarded for our hard work though and we were asked to present our eye-wear device to all the other students at the end of the day, which is an honor.

Photos by Eva

Day 4 (June 6th) - Day 4 was not our most productive day. The morning lecture took a while so we started working late. Then we were not so energetic so we went for low-involvement tasks such as updating our portfolios, discussing our goals and cleaning up our work environment, then, before we knew it, it was lunch time. During the afternoon we worked on adding buttons to the glasses. We added three buttons, one to open the lenses, one to close them, and one to go back to 'automatic' mode. We struggled a bit with the code as we wanted the manual buttons to override the automatic mode. This took a big part of the afternoon but we ended the day with figuring out our supply situation. We listed all the supplies we need to achieve our final product and we ordered them all online. I also took the time to walk around the warehouse and look at what the other groups are working on.

Day 5 (June 7th) - For me, the whole day was about shrinking our prototype. I moved all the wires to a smaller breadboard and tried to make it as compact as possible. I also cleaned up all the cable so they would be color coded and you can easily follow connected elements from one end to the other. Then, I spent most of my day trying to use the Arduino mini. I moved all the wires and connected the mini Arduino to just work, like the full size Arduino, and oh boy was I wrong. I had to follow a dozen tutorials, download libraries, change a thousand settings and still was unsuccessful. To be clear, I wanted the board to do the exact same thing as the Arduino uno, but being smaller, but that's not how it works. After a long time I did manage to connect the mini board to my computer, and I verified that with the example code Blink which worked fine. But when I tried to upload our own code, our prototype wouldn't work. It worked great with the Arduino uno, exact same wires and setup, same code, but with the mini board it didn't work. I spent hours trying to fix it, and at the end of the day I just gave up.

Day 6 (June 11th) - On day 6 we finally had our final flip up glasses. They took a while to be delivered and it was hard to move on without them so now, with only a few days left we hurried to make them work with the rest of our system. We came up with a permanent system to connect our servo to them and we struggled a bit with how stiff their hinges are. Our thread and elastic idea wouldn't work smoothly and wouldn't look good, so we decided to attach the servo on the side of the frames, even though it looks bulky.

I also used the drill for the first time. I made a hole in our LED rings so they would fit on the frames and this was surprisingly easy.

The team also worked on a branding for the glasses, we found a name: "Briliant (play on the Dutch word "bril"), and we made a logo.

Poster and logo by Kim

Day 7 (June 12th) - We attached the servo, the lenses, the LEDs permanently. We aslo started connecting our Arduino board remotely, using the wifi setup. We spent half of the day making things permanent and cleaner, and the other half just working on our code to control the glasses through an online page at first, then through our phones (with HTTP widgets for each command). We also figured out what kind of things we could do with the LEDs, we decided to just have them slowly change color so it would make a rainbow pattern.

Here is a picture of blueprints we made to try and figure out where to put the servo.

Blueprint by Eva

Day 8 (June 13th) - We spent the whole day finishing our glasses, twitching the code again and again until it worked. First we couldn't figure out why we could remotely control the lenses so they would go up and down, but couldn't implement our automatic mode. This took Rick and me at least 3-4 hours to fix, and when we finally managed to make this work I was the happiest I've been in a really long time. I felt so proud, I started jumping around. But then we still had to make our wires neat and solder everything. Then we also had to connect the LEDs remotely, but as soon as we added them to the arduino board, the board was suddenly disconnected from the computer. So we decided, at the last minute, to use a second arduino board to control the lights, and we had to connect this new board to the wifi on another web address. Eva also sewed a pouch for the arduino boards and batteries so it is easier to carry around and looks nicer. We finally finished our glasses.

Day 9 (June 14th) - Expo day. We're done with our actual product but we do need to work on the presentation setup. We have a mirror so people can look at themselves while wearing the glasses. We also tried to make a booth with a roof to have a dark environment so the lights on the lenses would look cooler, but after a long struggle we decided to not do that...

Just before the expo started I was a little intimidated, many groups had built entire rooms, or huge complex setups and all we had was a pair of sunglasses on a table. But as soon as people started arriving I felt much better. Our glasses were a hit, everybody liked them. Well, we did have a little setback, five minutes before the start of the expo one of our LED ring fell and we had to fix it quickly so we put some superglue on it. It dried instantly but it smelled quite strong and when you wore the glasses, because the glue was right next to the eye, it made the eye water and sting after a while. It only lasted for the first 30 minutes and it affected only the few people with sensitive eyes who happened to wear the glasses for a long time, and it went away pretty quickly once they removed the glasses, but still we panicked for a while and wondered if we should even let anybody try out our product... Then we had 2 hours of bliss, when everything went well, people were dying to try the glasses, they took selfies, smiled, laughed and even asked us where they could buy them. My favorite part was when we would activate the servo for the first time while someone had the glasses on, there was always a slight jump of surprise followed by laughter. After a while, during the last hour of the expo, a few wires got loose and one of the LED rings stopped working, but still, that didn't stop people from wanting to try the glasses on. Overall it was really a success and I am so proud of our product, and it might be only because I know all the hard work that went into it but I think it was one of the best products out there.


I am really satisfied with the work I put in this project. I think we went there without a specific goal in mind, we just laid out as many ideas as we could, then we tried the fun ones until we found one we actually were able to do and we just kept on going from thee, improving it at every step. And we did make a working product, which is not the most useful, not the most technologically challenging, but it still looks cool and it impressed many people, so I think we can say we achieved our goal. The team was great and everyone participated to the extent of their ability but at times it felt like the whole project relied on me because there was a lot of coding involved and I was the best at coding in the group. Also it was my idea originally to make sunglasses so I was the one with the vision and I think I was the best at seeing the big picture and pushing the team to move forward. Rick was also really helpful, as he did code too and generally took a leadership position. Motivation went up and down, as it is to be expected, and somedays the breaks we took were really long, but I think we needed that, and we still all were there everyday all day long. There were many moments that were really enjoyable and overall it was a fun two weeks. I think we all learned so much, about coding, about arduino, about using power tools, we even learned from the other groups and their projects.

Now here is our final product video:

The video uses shots taken by all members of the group and was edited by Kim


So our product is a pair of flip up sunglasses with LEDs on the rim of each lens, and the glasses are connected to the wifi through arduino boards. By connecting to the same wifi network as the glasses, and using the right links/commands (we had shortcuts set up on our phones) you can control a servo to open or close the shaded part of the glasses. You can also activate an "automatic" mode which uses a light sensor to close the glasses as soon as there is too much light. Finally, you can turn on or off the LEDs which display a rainbow pattern. It was hard to make it "wearable" because of all the wires and the fact that we had two arduino board and a big power bank, but we created a little pouch you wear around your neck to make more convenient and portable.

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