Black Lives Matter - Action and Equality. ... Adafruit is open and shipping.

Interact with the World like a Cat with this Whisker Sensory Extension #WearableWednesday


From metaterra on Instructables:

This project, like my previous Ultrasonic Sensory Extension Wearable, was designed/created for multiple purposes, a couple of which being: wearable-assisted (See Figure 1) pet care and empathy research and application (specific to animals with vibrissae, see Figure 2) as well as basic sensory augmentation research (specifically, the tactile-to-tactile variety).

Here’s a cursory overview of the components and their functions:

– Two sets of custom built flex sensor whisker devices (total of 8, 4 per side) receive tactile information (bend, flex, etc.) from objects in the user’s immediate environment. The initial voltage/resistance information received by each sensor is then converted to bend angle information (e.g., a bend angle of 10 degrees). This bend angle information is subsequently converted to proportional pulse width modulation output and sent to corresponding vibrotactile displays on the user’s forehead.

– Each whisker sensor has its own SparkFun ProMini 3.3V/8MHz microprocessor that does the transducing/converting. There are two circuits operating on each ProMini (this approach was necessary to alleviate motor EMI disturbance issues). One functions to input whisker information while the other outputs PWM commands to the coupled vibrating mini motor disc located in the vibrotactile display situated on the user’s forehead. Each circuit is powered independently through one of the outputs of a dual output battery.

– Two vibrotactile displays supply tactile stimuli to the user’s forehead. Each motor housed within the two displays is coupled to its own whisker (in the same orientation as the whiskers on the face), functioning in such a way as to reflect the whisker’s bend angle in the form of vibration information. Vibration intensity is proportional to whisker bend angle (e.g., 10-degree bend angle –> 40 units PWM output, etc.).

Thanks to sensory substitution/augmentation phenomena (neuroplasticity; intra-modal plasticity), it’s plausible that, after a given training period, an individual could extend their pre-existing somatosensory apparatus into the realm of these new whisker-like appendages, as blind individuals utilizing tactile-to-vision sensory substitution do (e.g., the use of a walking cane, see Figure 3). It’s plausible that the somatosensory (SS) cortex (mediated through stimulation of forehead skin receptors) could, over time, develop a new “whisker representation” housed somewhere in SS cortex. This type of sensory extension has already been shown in multiple studies (e.g., Sensory Augmentation for the Blind [tactile-to-direction sensory augmentation through the use of a vibrotactile display worn around the waist], Embedding a Panoramic Representation of Infrared Light in the Adult Rat Somatosensory Cortex through a Sensory Neuroprosthesis [although brain-invasive techniques are used here, this supports the concept of cortical re-mapping], etc.). Now let’s make some whiskers!

Read more

Flora breadboard is Every Wednesday is Wearable Wednesday here at Adafruit! We’re bringing you the blinkiest, most fashionable, innovative, and useful wearables from around the web and in our own original projects featuring our wearable Arduino-compatible platform, FLORA. Be sure to post up your wearables projects in the forums or send us a link and you might be featured here on Wearable Wednesday!

We are angry, frustrated, and in pain because of the violence and murder of Black people by the police because of racism. We are in the fight AGAINST RACISM. George Floyd was murdered, his life stolen. The Adafruit teams have specific actions we’ve done, are doing, and will do together as a company and culture. We are asking the Adafruit community to get involved and share what you are doing. The Adafruit teams will not settle for a hash tag, a Tweet, or an icon change. We will work on real change, and that requires real action and real work together. That is what we will do each day, each month, each year – we will hold ourselves accountable and publish our collective efforts, partnerships, activism, donations, openly and publicly. Our blog and social media platforms will be utilized in actionable ways. Join us and the anti-racist efforts working to end police brutality, reform the criminal justice system, and dismantle the many other forms of systemic racism at work in this country, read more @

Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Join 20,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community!

Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Follow Adafruit on Instagram for top secret new products, behinds the scenes and more

CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers –

Maker Business — To make it through a tough business cycle, layoffs should be a last resort

Wearables — Microphone protection

Electronics — Sizzlin’ Chip Test

Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: Make: The Rise of Python, CLUE, CircuitPython 6 and more! #Python #Adafruit #CircuitPython @circuitpython @micropython @ThePSF

Adafruit IoT Monthly — BLE Store Capacity Indicator, Aquarium Automation, and more!

Microsoft MakeCode — Virus Destroyer!

EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey

New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — NewProducts 8/6/2020 Feat. #Adafruit #ST25DV16K I2C #RFID #EEPROM #Breakout – STEMMA QT / Qwiic!

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at !

No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.