In the past I have been involved with various outreach activities for Women@SCS: conferences and workshops on computer science education, TechNights, and Gwen's Girls
summer camp (2009) and robot building workshop (fall 2010).
For a taste of the full fledged program here is my attempt at making a sensing laptop bag.
If you're a grad student interested in volunteering and giving back to the community by teaching young girls about technology and science drop me an email!Wearable Technology Workshop: Heat and Light Sensitive Laptop Bag Prototype
I've had an old white mac book that sometimes wakes up from sleep by itself. This is inconvenient not only because it drains the battery but also because it heats up in my neoprene laptop bag and the fans work overtime. I wanted to use up some basic sensors (heat) to signal when the laptop bag heats up. Additionaly, I threw in a light sensor to make it more fun to carry the bag in the evening. The latop bag itself comes from a very nice Anthropologie Shower Curtain cover bag (yes the shower curtain was on sale).
- Lilypad Arduino main board
- Lilypad light and heat sensors
- Lilypad LEDs
- Conductive Thread
- A laptop bag or a cloth tote
Circuit: For the circuit I have one piece of wisdom: PLAN IT OUT. I started with a small number of items (the arduino board, 1 LED and the heat sensor). I wired these 3 items and realized that to wire the rest of the items I need to do some re-sewing. Here's how I would do this project if I would start from scratch again:
- layout the items on the piece of cloth
- draw the connections in pen or pencil on the back of the material
- make sure the wires do not overlap or touch
- to aid part 3, the best way is to setup one main ground line that goes around the entire bag.
- similarly you can draw a connection from one of the ports that goes towards the LEDs or the sensors
Results: Currently the LEds lighs up fully when the laptop bag is overheated but they intermitentely light up in the dark. Over heating takes precendence over light.