Wearable Breadboard

We all know what a short circuit is, but [Clement Zheng] and [Manasvi Lalwani] want to introduce you to the shirt circuit. Their goal is to help children, teachers and parents explore and learn electronics. The vehicle is a shirt with a breadboard-like pattern of conductors attaching snaps. Circuit elements reside in stiff felt boxes with matching snaps. You can see it all in action in the video below.

We imagine you could cut the felt pieces out by hand with the included patterns. However, they used a laser cutter to produce the “breadboard” and the component containers. Conductive thread is a must, of course, as are some other craft supplies like glue and regular thread.

The components include a connector (essentially just some copper tape with snaps on each end), LEDs, batteries, and a push button. Of course, it would be easy to make your own components with any sort of two terminal devices.

The team has promised some curriculum where the students embody a microcontroller controlling inputs and outputs on the shirt. That reminded us of the blindfolded robot exercise we covered before. We’ve seen snap on circuits before. Of course, there are commercial alternatives that you can add to with a 3D printer, as well.

12 thoughts on “Wearable Breadboard

  1. Hopefully the shirt is made of cotton, rather than synthetics like polyester. I can just picture the aftermath of a circuit elements power rating being exceeded…

  2. Very cute, creative and original but….

    No, No, NO!

    See zeon’s comment for reason 1,

    then there is 2 it shorts out if it gets wet from sweat etc., across the area where your heart is,

    and 3 those batteries are a very dangerous thing to have around children as they swallow them regularly, and occasionally die because of them.

    1. Toddlers may eat batteries, but I think any child old enough to understand the circuit will be old enough not to eat the batteries.
      It’s a bit of a silly panic when there’s a perfectly good set of kitchen knives, gas job, etc in the kitchen should they choose to kill themselves.

      1. You obviously don’t live in a progressive society where children with disabilities are integrated into groups and classes of “normal” children. The risk is higher than you think and the age of the victims is too, you’d be surprised how stupid even normal kids can be.

        1. Actually, i do. Probably more so than you. And as a parent of a child with ASD, and knowing many teachers, the pros and cons of integrating them into classes can be debated.
          In any case, no-one is suggesting making this school uniform, so any issues about integrated classes are irrelevant. (Ok, unless you’ve got some school which doesn’t have uniform, but I’d guess they’d still have a policy against tshirts like this anyway)
          And my point still stands. Most homes – and even school classrooms – have much more serious risks already. Freaking out over the potential for a child to get their hands on batteries is unnecessary. If you’ve got a kid who’d eat the batteries, don’t buy them this! But you’ve got your work cut out making much more significant changes to how most homes are run.

          1. Why don’t you just admit you are wrong? Saying they are not an issue around young kids is contradicting a very large number of qualified people, not to mention common sense.

  3. Thats actually a pretty great idea, assuming the concerns mentioned above have been covered, but i kinda think they have, we’re talking something aimed at kids, teachers & parents, 99% sure parents & teachers will have been the first to mention these concerns.

    Besides im sure they wont let young kids play with these for those very reasons, and having been a kid myself, i know felt tastes terrible anyway :P

    In the end its a very clever way to allow kids to carry around their first electronic creations, and with that inspire more kids.

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