The LilyPad Arduino is a microcontroller board designed for wearables and e-textiles. It can be sewn to fabric and similarly mounted power supplies, sensors and actuators with conductive thread. The board is based on theATmega168V (the low-power version of the ATmega168) or the ATmega328V. The LilyPadArduino was designed and developed by Leah Buechley and SparkFun Electronics.
Warning: Don't power the LilyPad Arduino with more than 5.5 volts, or plug the power in backwards: you'll kill it.
|Microcontroller||ATmega168V or ATmega328V|
|Operating Voltage||2.7-5.5 V|
|Input Voltage||2.7-5.5 V|
|Digital I/O Pins||14 (of which 6 provide PWM output)|
|Analog Input Pins||6|
|DC Current per I/O Pin||40 mA|
|Flash Memory||16 KB (of which 2 KB used by bootloader)|
|Clock Speed||8 MHz|
The LilyPad Arduino can be powered via the USB connection or with an external power supply.
If an external power supply is used, it should provide between 2.7 and 5.5 volts. This can come either from an AC-to-DC adapter (wall-wart) or battery. Again, don't power the LilyPad Arduino with more than 5.5 volts, or plug the power in backwards: you'll kill it.
The LilyPad Arduino is a circle, approximately 50mm (2") in diameter. The board itself is .8mm (1/32") thick (approximately 3mm (1/8") where electronics are attached).
Wash at your own risk - we do ;). We recommend washing projects by hand with a mild detergent. Drip dry. Make sure you remove your power supply first!
Connecting the LilyPad Arduino
To program the LilyPad Arduino, you need to connect it to your computer. The SparkFun FTDI Basic Breakout plugs into the 6-pin male header on the newest version of the LilyPad. Use a USB MiniB cable to connect the FTDI basic breakout to your computer. You can also use an FTDI USB-TTL Serial cable.
When the jacket is in day mode, the jacket will flash the back arrow LEDs 10 times when that button is pressed and turn off earlier if the button is pushed again before then. This is day mode.
Another issue I had with this project was the conductive thread I was using to connect everything together. The sewing part was easy, keeping the thread from going "fluffy" and breaking all the time wasn't.
The thread was more conductive if each section was sewn together without the thread having to be cut and then re connected (it also looked a lot tidier). However because sections of this required a lot of thread to be used at once, I found that it wore out a lot quicker. There are sections of my threading that appear weaker and needed reinforcement because looping through the + and - of the LEDs wore away at it. There are some sections I have gone over with glue to help hold the thread in place and stop it from breaking. This can be seen on the back of the push buttons.
From here I plan to take the jacket to Otago Girls High school (the school i'm helping out for the RoboCup), because their teacher is intending to have an electronics course next term. I think that by showing them this, it will encourage them to take the paper and show them that there is a lot more that they can do with electronics.
It was her jacket I "borrowed" after all ;)