Fabrication Final Project – Motors in ViBREATHER vibrating vest

Fabrication Final Project – Motors in ViBREATHER vibrating vest

Studying motors and mounting in Intro to Fabrication informed the process of creating my final project for Intro to Physical Computing:  a wearable that has vibrating motors placed along the spine. I knew I was to use motors to get vibration, so I started with what I knew, which was a DC motor and a Servo motor. I considered adding an attachment to the spindle, such as the arms securable to a servo, to produce a physical sensation against the body.

DC Motor


Servo Motor

Visiting Tinkersphere shop in the East Village to explore further options, I found very small vibrating disc motors. In test, they were not as strong as I wished, so I continued my search. Furthermore, even those these motors pictured have sticky tape on the back, the ones I tested did not, so I simultaneously began considering how to secure the motors in a durable way given the nature of the project.

I continued my search online and found Lily Pad for Arduino made vibrating disc motors that came with mounting boards ready for sewing either with conductive thread or simply to secure to cloth. Bingo! I ordered five and patiently waited their arrival…

Here’s the mini motor sewn into the vest:

I used wires for durability and after covering them in fabric, realized the material dampened the sense of vibration against the body. As a temporary solution, I covered the wires with black tape.

I ran the motors through a large ethernet cable and used pins to secure the connection and stabilize the points of contact on the Arduino.

Here’s the vest in action with a first time user!

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