For my eighth assignment for How to Make (Almost) Anything, I decided to take advantage of the time to actually do something useful for my final project. Since I want this shoe to "morph" with different colors, shapes, and designs, I realized that learning how to make an LED Array change colors, as well as a set of inflatable bladders change pressure may be good ideas to work off of.
However, I realized that since I am still very new to embedded programming, I should start small and focus on one task for now. Due to my current limited knowledge, I chose to recreate Neil's LED array board with resistors (since I am still new to electronics design, so creating vias is still a little into the future) and then see how I can use this model to then create a "Flexible" version of this setup using Kapton flex-harness material (that I scavenged from a factory visit for my research work), copper tape, and
I chose to attempt the creation of an LED Array system using Charlieplexing!
To be continued!
A few weeks before the end of the year, I went to go talk to Sam Calisch who has worked with inflatable pneumatic bladders with piezoresistive input, and we were able to figure out a potential gameplan for having "comfort sensors" in the sole of the shoe to not only provide the wearer with additional comfort while walking in the shoe, but also information about the gait of the wearer, and thus the ability to then tailor the pneumatic motions of the bladders to ensure continuous use with reduced wear and tear as well as continuous comfort, no matter how long one walks in the shoes. It was quite an exciting conversation, and one that I hope to continue working on after the class ends!