physical computing – midterm project

Finding Words

I think that some memories need to be preserved as well as some future presences, that don’t exist yet, need to materialize themselves. And to do so, I feel like telling a story. It’s a story about a cyborg bird who died in the middle of the city and, where they died, a tree grew because the bird was carrying an invisible seed inside their belly.

To tell this story I want to create a live performance containing: Gestures (Dance), Light (LED), Words and Sound (Voice, and maybe other effects). Therefore, my Pcomp midterm is going to be the first experience towards that story that I don’t know yet.

Drawing the circuit for the fire bird

My initial plan is to create a wearable for my hands, which contains LED’s that change its color effects according to the gestures I make. I’m going to start with two words/gestures: Fire and Bird. The color effects are going to be activated by two different buttons made with conductive fabric located in different parts of my hands.

As a first try connecting the wearable with P5.js animations, I would like to create a program that writes a different word on the screen according to the gesture I make with my hands.

Materials I need

  • Conductive fabric to create the buttons;
  • Flora RGB Smart NeoPixel version 2 – Sheet of 20;
  • Stainless Thin Conductive Thread;
  • Gloves (think about the fabric/design – use transparency);
  • Microcontroller – Arduino;
  • Power Supply.


  • Is it better to connect the LED’s as if they were one strip or two (one for each hand, connected to different digital ports)?
  • How to use a battery? And what’s the best battery to use in this project?

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