SquareWear sewable microcontroller board

If you’re into adding electronics to your wearable items this little board will be of interest. The 1.6″x1.6″ board is called SquareWear and comes in several different flavors.

It may be a bit of a surprise that this is not an Arduino compatible board. [Ray] tried a few projects with PIC microcontrollers and ended up really liking them. He chose to go with the PIC 18F14K50 for this project. The chip has USB functionality and is running a bootloader. He thinks this makes it easier to work with over a wide range of computers than the Lilypad (a sewable Arduino compatible board which sometimes runs into FTDI driver issues the first time you try to program it).

We like the fact that it is open source. As we mentioned earlier, it comes in a few different flavors. There is a red or white version that uses a LiPo battery, and one that is driven from a CR2032 coin cell. If you’re working on a small project to which you would like to add a rechargeable battery this will serve as a cheap and easy reference design.

[via Adafruit]

11 thoughts on “SquareWear sewable microcontroller board

  1. Oh yes, wear your heart on your sleeve.

    Or when a heart lights up, your cow-orkers can say,
    “I just saw so and so with a heart on!” B^)

  2. So the copies of the adafruit lilly pad’s are starting to come out.

    you have been able to get these for over 2 years now from adafruit.

    1. Adafruit’s LilyPad? Because you bought it there? The LilyPad Arduino was designed and developed by Leah Buechley and SparkFun Electronics. Just saying…

    2. Sure, fundamentally they are all just microcontroller boards with sewable pin pads. The differences are in the built-in USB, battery, and mosfets.

    1. Sew a pocket on the inside to house the circuit board and connect everything via a wire harness and/or JST connectors as needed.

      When it comes time to wash, disconnect and remove the circuit board.

      For added protection, the PCB could either be housed in a potted or sealed package and/or given a hydrophobic conformal coating.

  3. I would think washing is less trouble than drying. But I suppose if it were me, I’d just hand wash and hang dry.

    I typically wash all my circuit boards as a matter of practice after assembly. Water isn’t really a problem, but I wouldn’t want to wring or overly twist something with wires running since a connection might pull loose.

  4. *troll allert*
    people still use PICs? O.o
    it would be nice to see an AVR one maybe because its AVR you can make it arduino compatible
    or an ARM version but that might be a tidlybit overkill
    but the LPC1117 is a nice little arm chip! and with a $10 programmer!

    1. While there are plenty of cheap mcus out there, Microchip still offers some of the lowest cost mcus with built-in USB support. This may not be a big deal for a personal project, but when organizing a school workshop with 40+ students, saving one external programmer per student is great for reducing the total budget. Also, I quite like Microchip’s USB HID bootloader: easy to use and no driver installation needed.

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