Tag Archives: Adafruit FLORA

Made with Code helps design Zac Posen’s FLORA-powered LED dress

Zac Posen teamed with Google’s Made with Code to create a black dress that displays a pattern created by LED lights.

More and more, we’re seeing the fashion and technology worlds come together in ways never before imagined. There’s your less ‘out of the ordinary’ wearable devices like fitness trackers and watches, but then there’s smart garments that can do everything from react to your body’s temperature and mood to ambient sound. With the advent of conductive thread, mini microcontrollers and a burgeoning Maker community, the possibilities of what can be sewn and coded together are truly endless.

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Demonstrating just that, Google’s Made with Code and Zac Posen teamed up to show how computer science can push the boundaries of what’s possible in fashion using technology developed by Maddey Maxey and electronics from Adafruit. Students had the ability to log onto Made With Code and select a mysterious LED-based project.

At the time, the girls had no idea as to what they were contributing to but were excited nonetheless. The result? An interactive dress converging Posen’s “Los Angeles at night” inspiration and the students’ coding skills that debuted at the finale of the Zac Posen Spring 2016 Fashion Show, which kicked off New York Fashion Week.


All eyes were on the LED-embedded dress worn by Coco Rocha as it dazzled the runway inside a packed auditorium at Manhattan’s Industria Superstudio. The black piece featured short sleeves and a mesh skirt, along with 500 tiny lights that were programmed to emit different animated patterns — all controlled by an Adafruit FLORA (ATmega32U4).

“There is nothing greater than the fulfillment of creating something and seeing it come to life — to light up,” Posen explains.


Not only did they get to have a hand in designing the LED sequences, but 50 girls had the chance to attend the show and witness their collaborative effort light up the catwalk. For those of us who couldn’t experience the magical moment firsthand, Adafruit was lucky enough to capture it for us all to see! Watch below!

[Images: Google, Adafruit]

Maker creates a FLORA-powered, light-up necklace dress

In her exploration of e-textiles, one N.C. State student has crafted an illuminating necklace dress powered by FLORA.

Victoria Rind, a Maker studying textile engineering at North Carolina State University, recently devised an interactive dress with one goal in mind: to stand out. How’d she do it, you ask? Using an Adafruit FLORA and NeoPixels to light up its attached necklace.


“People want to be able to customize their style and clothing,” Rind explains. “What’s more customizable than a programmable dress?”

The idea for the dress was first conceived after witnessing other garments with built-in necklaces. Channelling her inner DIY spirit, Rind went out and bought a basic shift dress pattern and beads to create the dress, along with an FLORA (ATmega32U4) wearable MCU, four RGB NeoPixels and some conductive thread.

Once satisfied with the NeoPixels output, the Maker sewed the circuit to the dress beginning with conductive thread, and finishing it off with normal fiber to prevent a short happening in between the wiring.

“Without the extra layer of thread, the lines of conductive thread would constantly touch, and the light pattern would be glitchy and inconsistent,” Rind adds.

So what’s next for the engineering student? In five years, she aspires to bring functionality to textiles.

“I would consider my work a success if I could create clothing that adapted to changes in the environment,” she concludes.

[h/t Adafruit via N.C. State]

This interactive dress visualizes New York City’s subway

LEDs on this FLORA-powered dress light up according to nearest subway line.

For those of you who have ever lived in or visited New York City, you know just how intimidating the subway system can be. Cognizant of this, Boram Kim has devised a clever (and stylish) solution to the problem. As shown on the runway at NYU ITP’s Spring 2015 Fashion Show, the Maker created an interactive dress capable of locating the nearest station through illuminated LEDs.


The garment — which visualizes the entire mass transit map in silver thread stitched on a denim-like material — employs an embedded GPS module that can detect a wearer’s location and then highlight the closest subway line via a series of NeoPixels.


“For example, if the user is closest to Classon Ave. station, which is a G train, the whole G line will light up with green color,” Kim writes.


On the inside, the Maker embedded several Adafruit FLORA (ATmega32U4) and GPS modules, all of which are soldered together. A NeoPixel strip was cut to create smaller pixels for the various station lights, which were wired and hot glued to the inner lining of the dress. A 3.7V LiPo battery is tucked away inside a little pocket.

Surely one of the more innovative wearables we’ve seen lately, you can head over to the Maker’s official page to learn more.

This dancer’s LED dress responds to hand motion

LEDs embedded in the dancer’s dress are triggered by quick hand motions and illuminate the costume.

Created by Danielle Jordan, in collaboration with Makers Angie Pittman, Eric Norbury and Jeff Putney, E-Motion Control is a thesis project exploring the construction and analysis of motion-controlled dance costumes. Driven by a pair of Adafruit FLORA (ATmega32U4), the garment packs two accelerometers, 50 RGB NeoPixels, some AWG hookup wire and two LiPo batteries for power.


Embedded beneath the dancer’s dress, the set of LEDs are programmed to be triggered by rapid hand motions. When either of the accelerometers mounted on the back of both hands sense a certain amount of movement along the Y or Z axis, a trail of NeoPixels illuminate the dress’ bodice in whimsical fashion.

Intrigued? Those wishing to read its accompanying research paper will have to wait until its available. In the meantime, you can watch the dress in action below. Now, imagine if the dancer complemented the outfit with a pair of Lesia Trubat’s Electronic Laces on her feet to recreate the artistic movements into graphical data and imagery.

These movement-responsive wristbands emit real-life superhero sounds

Bam! Pow! Zap! Boom!

If you’ve ever read a comic book, then you’re well aware of the one thing that every superhero has in common: they all have a special power, whether it’s memory manipulation like Professor X, web-spinning and crawling like Spiderman, or x-ray vision like Superman. Unfortunately in print, a reader can’t actually experience the sound effects that coincide with these actions. Instead, they are typically spelt out inside a callout bubble. BAM! POW! ZAP! BOOM! 


Well, Makers Niki Selken and Annelie Koller thought it would be a fun idea to channel their inner superhero by creating what they call Action Bandswristbands that emit sound and light effects as they move. In other words, these wearable devices bring those callout bubbles to life.

To accomplish this, the Maker duo used an Adafruit FLORA (ATmega32U4), an accelerometer, a piezo, conductive thread, a LiPo battery, some NeoPixels, a headband and laser-cut plexiglass icons. These icons were then attached to a store-bought headband and shaped with a sewing machine to fit the wrist.


From there, the FLORA and accelerometer were connected with conductive thread. The Makers then loaded the code to produce sounds and light effects depending on X,Y and Z coordinates and acceleration. The sounds were compiled from a library created by MIT, while the LEDs employed the Adafruit NeoPixel Library, of course.

“The hardest part was discovering the X-Y-Z access thresholds for the gestures that trigger the sound. We have three unique gesture sets that trigger three different sounds. Part of the fun is finding those gestures and discovering the sounds we programmed,” Selken explains.


Want one of your own? Grab your cape and zoom on over to the project’s page, where you can find its detailed instructions, schematics and more.

These smart socks will let you know what’s up in the washer

Get ready for the I-o-Feet.

When you think of the billions of “things” that will one day be connected to the Internet, socks may not be one of the first items that come to mind. However, as recent reports have suggested, the smart clothing and electronic textile segment is expected to grow by leaps and bounds, so it was only a matter of time before the IoT would head to our feet.


First reported by our friends at Adafruit, Maker Guido Burger has developed an intelligent sock prototype packed with a LilyPad ProtoBoard, a LilyPad RGB LED, an Arduino Pro Mini (ATmega328), and most importantly, an Adafruit FLORA 9 DOF sensor. The sensor is tasked with driving the RGB LED and enables a user to do one of two things: monitor the sock during the washing process and find answers to questions that they may’ve never thought about. For instance, have you ever wanted to know how many g-forces a sock has to survive or how many times will it be washed?

The idea was first conceived after Burger had been working on a smart home hack. When presented with the option of a smart oven, fridge or washing machine, he decided the latter was the most interesting one.

“Because why the heck do you need a smart washing machine at all? They are already smart (weight sensor, special washing programs), but I got interested as the cloth in the washing machine was not at all connected,” the Maker reveals. “So, taking the possibility to transmit data from a sensor being under water was a great basis – a must have.”

While working on the project, Burger discovered that he needed to coat the electronic components with acrylic resin — except on the through-holes for the conductive thread. The Maker also tells Adafruit that he switched from a LiPo battery to a coin cell, as it had a better rating for this rough and tumble temperature changing life.


With the prototype complete, the Maker has embarked on the next iteration of the smart sock. This time, it will be equipped with Bluetooth Low Energy, which will allow for it to work with an accompanying app to collect and visualize data from a smartphone. As seen in previous projects from Burger, Platinchen (or blueIOT) is a platform from Fab-Lab Germany that combines a certified BLE module along with an ATmega328P MCU.

Want to learn more? Head over to Adafruit’s official write-up here.

Halloween-spiration for some paw-some costumes

Makers, rejoice! One of our favorite holidays is quickly approaching — a celebration full of carving, candy consumption, and of course, DIY costumery. Though, we can adorn our own bodies with tricked-out costumes, what about our furry four-legged friends? These two Atmel powered costumes from Adafruit should provide some Halloween-spiration!

Adafruit’s Becky Stern recently demonstrated how to transform a pair of Doggles into cyberpunk-style glasses with a rotating laser. The Maker figured out that with children and sugar-loaded revelers abundant on Halloween, lighting up a ground-level pooch was a favorable idea. Using a Trinket 3v MCU (ATtiny85), a set of clear dog goggles and a laser diode as the center of the device, this invention will surely be a hit on the scene.


A small servomotor allows the laser to move back and forth, while playfully recreating the scanning beams of our favorite sci-fi heroes. Intrigued? You can acces the entire tutorial here. (Note: Now, while being the ghastliest ghoul on Halloween is one goal, safety is another of paramount of importance. Before assembling this build for your precious pet, make sure you read through Adafruit’s safety guidelines.)

Whether a fan of the smash hit Doctor Who or not, we’ve got another canine costume that will have partygoers oohing and ahhing this October 31st.


Adafruit has also showed off a TARDIS-inspired sweater that utilizes a FLORA wearable processor and an MP3 music player module to emit the iconic sound from the show’s time machine, while NeoPixels are used for the blinking blue light on top to round out the TV prop. With the ATmega32u4 MCU based wearable platform at the center of the creation, the sweater remains lightweight for even the smallest dogs. Need a few minutes of silence on your trick-or-treat route? An infrared receiver is added to mute the sound when you want quiet.


Now, if you combine these two costume ideas into one Maker-approved ensemble, you will have the most haunting hound on All Hallows’ Eve!