Hardware Prototyping: GPS Scarf

Project Status: Complete

For my Hardware Prototyping class, taught by Michael Nitsche, I created a GPS scarf that serves as a directional aid.

Building it

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To build the scarf, I used the Adafruit FLORA, Adafruit NeoPixels, Adafruit FLORA GPS sensor, a knitted scarf, felt, wire, and conductive thread.

The Code

neopixelprob
I had to cut the areas where I’d sewn together the middle lines on the FLORA. They are not supposed to be connected.

Before using the code for the scarf, I had ensure that the NeoPixels and the GPS sensor are working separately. That entailed a lot of troubleshooting on my part. I had sewn the NeoPixels incorrectly initially because the diagram was unclear (I learned that when watching one of the many videos about the NeoPixels).

Moreover, because I’m running iOS El Capitan on my MacBook Pro, the FLORA libraries have issues uploading code more than once to the board. I had to restart my computer every time I wanted to reupload until I found this solution. As always, the problem with finding solutions is knowing how to properly Google, in other words, finding the perfect search terms. This took me a couple of days to figure out.

Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 8.26.14 AM
Enter the latitude and longitude of the destination, which you can calculate using iTouchMap

Future Opportunities

In future versions, I would like the integration of the NeoPixels and the FLORA board to be more seamless. Right now, the NeoPixels are hard to notice in broad daylight.

My concern with designing this was simply my amateurishness and lack of confidence with conductive thread. I decided making a patch that would go behind the scarf would be the safest route for me at the time.

Also, getting a GPS signal is extremely difficult in the city. I have no idea how Becky Stern did it in NYC.

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