Fuzzy Blanket Hides Serious Tech

Who needs the Internet of Things? Not this interactive, sound playback blanket! Instead, hidden within its soft fuzzy exterior, it makes use of a NRF24L01+ module to speak directly with its sound server.

The project was built for a school, and let the students record whatever sounds they think are important into a Raspberry Pi. Then, the students assembled the physical felt blanket, with the sensors sewn inside, and could play back their favorite sounds by clambering all over the floor. It’s a multi-sensory, participatory, DIY extravaganza. We wish we did cool stuff like that in grade school.


What? Your “blankie” doesn’t transmit data to a Pure Data application? Well, [Dan Macnish] is here to help you change that. This well-written entry on Hackady.io describes the setup that he used to make the blanket’s multiple touch sensors send small packets over the air, and provides you with the Pd code to get it all working on GitHub..

8178811454644034915We like DIY music controllers a lot, and this simple setup stands to be more useful than just blanket-making. And in this age of everything-over-WiFi, it’s refreshing to see a straight-up 2.4 GHz radio build when that’s all that was necessary.

[Dan]’s complaint that the NRF24 modules could only reach 3m or so strikes us as strange though. Perhaps it’s because of all of the metal in close proximity to the NRF24’s antenna?

Hackaday Links: August 3, 2012

Oh cool we’re famous

Last weekend, the Tech Team Radio Show over in Stoke-on-Trent interviewed our boss man [Caleb]. It’s a really wonderful interview, and I’m not saying that because [Caleb] signs my check. The entire show is up on Mixcloud and you can listen to the interview beginning at about 20 minutes. By the way, the guy who interviewed [Caleb] is now writing for us. Please welcome [Richard] to our motley crew.

Group buys are an awesome idea

We’ve seen Tindie, an Etsy for your electronics projects, a few times before. [emile] put up a blog post showing the impressive stats for the first month: $646 went to makers and nearly 29,000 unique pageviews. [emile] is working on a new project called Starter. This feature allows makers to gauge interest in their project and organize group buys for rare and esoteric components. We can’t wait to see this feature go live, and of course we’ll plug it when it does.

First Tindie, now fixie

[Adam] needed a way to store his bike, so he made a swinging wall mount for his fixie. The mount is bolted to a door frame and since it swings it’s never in the way.

The latest advances in blanket technology

During the opening ceremony for the Olympics, [schobi] saw some really cool light-up blankets. From this picture it really looks like these blankets are emitting light, but we have no idea how this was done. Does anyone have an idea on how this effect was produced?


[Craig] needed a way to mount PCBs that didn’t have any mounting holes. He came up with a laser cut Delrin clip and put the file up on Thingiverse.

A blanket that detects its own orientation

If you want to capture a 3D model of a physical object, you could use a Kinect, a couple of lasers, constructive light, or even a simple touch sensor mounted on a robotic arm. Those are all expensive devices, and somewhat unnecessary now that you can just throw a blanket over an object and get a 3D model instantaneously.

The project is called IM BLANKY and it’s supposed to reproduce 3D shapes by simply throwing it over an object. The petals in the flower motif are pieces of conductive fabric that serve as contacts for the electrified tassel in the center of each flower. When the blanket is thrown over an object, the tassel is pulled by gravity, makes contact with one of the six conductive petals and sends a tilt switch to a microcontroller.

While we’re not too sure about the resolution IM BLANKY will provide with only 20 tilt sensors, but we imagine this could be used for a few medical applications.

via dvice