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Tilt Sensing Quilt (2010)

This quilt is made up of an array of 41 textile tilt sensors. Each sensor demonstrates a unique construction variation, showcasing different materials and techniques that can be used to create fabric tilt sensors.

The Tilt Sensing Quilt took roughly a year to complete. It is a great demonstration of how the process of crafting e-textile technology requires handwork, patience, and concentration. The work is repetitive and soothing, yet frustrating if you aim to complete too much in one go. It proved a much better decision to work on the quite a bit at a time and to enjoy the process, rather than seeing it as a means to an end.

Techniques for making the tilt sensors include: fusing, machine and hand embroidering, felting, etching and painting.

Applications

The quilt as a final artifact is a human-computer interface that can interact with a variety of custom applications. Current applications visualize the tilt of the quilt and convey a super rough height-map so that you could detect what kind of object the quilt is currently draped over or what state the quilt is in (hung, folded).



Video 1

Video 2
ignore the background conversation:-)

Construction

The quilt is made up of 3 layers (with an additional isolation layer between layers two and three):
1) Tilt sensors: 41 total
2) Rows: 9×6 rows connecting all 6 tilt sensor petals
3) Columns: 41 individual columns connecting all 41 tilt sensing beads via five 8-channel multiplexers

Along one edge all tilt sensor petals are interconnected. Along another edge all tilt sensing beads are connected via five 8-channel multiplexers. All traces finally connect to a LilyPad Arduino, which parses the array of 41 tilt sensors and sends the data via serial communication over Bluetooth (wireless) or via a USB connection (wired).

Tilt Sensors

Rows

Columns

Multiplexers

LilyPad

Bluetooth and battery

Installation


Very first prototype


This work was created during graduate studies in the High-Low Tech Research group.