Thanks to Stacy for sending in her awesome project! Check out more info on her blog here.
Did I have you at DDR? Dance Dance Revolution is one of those games that has its very loyal audience, with hours wasted in local arcades breaking records and myths about rhythm and grace simultaneously. Search Youtube for DDR, and it will take you down the most amazing internet rabbit hole, across generations, and across countries and oceans.
A DDR style mat can be easily made by making a series of pressure sensors and some LEDs. Pressure on the sensor can be detected by a microprocessor such as an Arduino, SparkCore, Galielo, and the leds can be used to give visual cues of the sequence or light up when its been stepped on.
You can go and fork out the cash for some pressure sensors which typically range in price from 7- 12 bucks. These sensors will give you a higher level of fidelity and are better for applications that require more fidelity in weight for example. We are going to make our own pressure sensors from Velostat which is a pressure-sensitive conductive material. If you add a bit of conductive thread to it, you can capture the analog values to determine pressure, and boom – you got your own pressure sensors perfect for a DDR mat, a whoopie cushion, even a smart coaster.
See the full tutorial here.
Featured Adafruit Products!
Pressure-Sensitive Conductive Sheet (Velostat/Linqstat): This conductive material (also known as “Velostat” or “Linqstat”) is a nice addition for your wearable/sensor hacking toolkit. It’s pressure-sensitive: squeezing it will reduce the resistance, so it’s handy for making flexible sensors. And it’s a lot less expensive than off-the-shelf pressure or bend sensors too! Each order comes with a 11″x11″ (28cm x 28cm) 8mil (0.2mm) thick piece. We may fold the sheet into quarters to ship it to you. To remove any hard creases, simply lay flat on a table and put a heavy book on top to flatten it out. Read more.
Stainless Thin Conductive Thread – 2 ply – 23 meter/76 ft: After months of searching, we finally have what we consider to be the ultimate conductive thread. It’s thin, strong, smooth, and made completely of 316L stainless steel. Once you start working with this thread you’ll quickly agree its optimal for any wearables work!
This thread is 2 ply, a little thicker than every day polyester or cotton thread but still thin enough to be sewn by hand in medium-eye needles or with a sewing machine that can handle ‘heavy’ thread. Because it is strong and smooth, its ideal for any wearable/e-textile project. It also has fairly low resistivity, 16 ohms per foot so you can use it to drive LEDs and other electronic components that use under ~50mA. Read more.