Final Assignment- Beautiful Sensor


For the final project, Kate requested us to make a fully functional beautiful sensor. The options we had were that it could be beautiful in it’s construction or physical implementation, in its use of materials, or in the resulting interaction. I believe my Z-patch meets all these options because all the materials came together to create aesthetically pleasing, highly functional sensors that can be installed onto just about any fabric or space.

The best thing about the Z-patch, in my opinion, is that values were registered on the serial plotter even when an object hovered over the sensor without touching it!



Materials Used:

  • Ripstop- conductive fabric
  • Piezo-resistive fabric(in this case we used Eeonyx Pressure Sensing Fabric). 
  • Wax paper
  • Non-conductive thick fabric for the back side of the sensor
  • Non-conductive thinner fabric for the front 


  • Scissors
  • Iron
  • Ironing board

For Material testing:

  • Multimeter
  • Alligator clips
  • Arduino Uno


                                                                   Cat Design Z-patch

Just like we did for the first Z-patch sensor, after cutting the desired shapes, I placed the conductive material between the Eeonyx fabric and placed the wax paper over them. I then ironed the paper so as to glue them all together before finally covering them with the thin fabric. 




Sensor testing:

I then connected alligator clips to the Ripstop ends and then connected the sensors first to the multimeter to measure the resistance when activated, then finally to the arduino to see a visual representation on the serial plotter.



                                                              Pretty Heart Z-patch

The process was the same as before. I used a very thin mesh fabric to cover the top part of the sensor!



Sensor testing:



In Conclusion:

Once again. I’m very pleased to have been a part of this class! I will definitely use the skills I learned here in my future projects. The newly acquired knowledge has made me look at materials differently and I’m excited to explore soft sensors in depth!





Soft Sensing 4- Research Groups

Dan and I worked together again. We decided to develop a Z-Patch sensor. Our inspiration came from some of the videos Kate shared in class;


We used conductive material called Ripstop, that we placed between piezo-resistive fabric(in this case we used Eeonyx Pressure Sensing Fabric) and glued all them together with wax paper.


We finally placed them between both thick and thin fabric. We then connected alligator clips to the ends of the Ripstop and then conncted to the arduino.


We were able to register a wide range of values from hovering around the sensor, lightly pressing it and firmly pressing it down. I had a great time creating this sensor and have a good mind to pursue it again for the final project.



IMG_4798 2 from Anita K Mbabazi on Vimeo.

Soft Sensing 3-Sensor Sprint

Here, Phil, Dan and I had to test and develop sensors. We decided on a squishy and stretch sensor. 


For the stretch sensor, we used the Eeonyx fabric, sewn under the hammock at the ITP Soft Lab. Using the multimeter, we were able to measure the resistance when it was stretched by Dan resting in the hammock. 


We found that we got a better stretch of the fabric when we placed it under the hammock rather than on one of the ends, as first attempted.



For the squishy sensor, we mixed Eeonyx fiber with soft stuff. Afterwhich we placed it under white material and designed a squishy doll with cute eyes.





Soft Sensing 2- Material Testing

For this assignment, I teamed up with Cheongho. We were required to test 4(four) different types of conductive materials:

  • Velostat/Linqstat
  • Eeonyx Pressure Sensing Fabric
  • Eeonyx Stretch Sensing Fabric
  • Eeonyx StaTex Conductive Fiber


We tested their values at rest and while activated, using a multimeter. It was very interesting to see different values recorded from the same material just from different placements of the alligator clips or application of different levels of pressure or stretch. 



Soft Sensing 1- Introduction

It was great to finally meet Kate! She was organized and very knowledgeable about the subject. I knew I’d made the right choice choosing her class and was certain that by the end of it I’d be in a better position to pursue projects requiring soft sensors. 

The first project was to use conductive material, conductive thread and a battery, all sewn into some material, to light up an LED. I especially loved the simplicity of the circuit and immediate results. LEDs make everything look beautiful.