This is a pillow with a secret surprise inside. When you hug it, squeeze it, sit on it, whatever - it vibrates! I made it fuzzy and heart shaped in honor of Code Monkey.
I have made a couple of these and I leave them on the sofa for unsuspecting visitors.
I've been interested in touch and pressure sensors in soft toys for a while now, and this pillow is about the simplest sensor/motor combination you can do. It consists of an outer fabric shell, a battery/motor assembly, and two fabric switches that act as pressure sensors.Materials
- Two pieces of fabric big enough for the front and back of the pillow
- pager or cell phone vibrator motor
- a battery holder for 2 AA batteries
- a piece of small scrap plastic with a convex shape, like the top of a tube of lip balm or a piece of a milk carton handle
- a couple inches of conductive fabric
- a couple feet of conductive thread
- some insulating fabric with a little thickness to it, like wool or felt
- a couple strips of scrap fabric
- a couple inches of velcro
- stuffing! you can reclaim this from a thrift-store pillow; the outside may be nasty but the inside has been protected and will usually be perfectly fine
Some of the materials are hard to find; check out the last step for sources.Tools
- sewing machine
- biggish needle
- good scissors for the fabric; crappy scissors for the plastic scrap
- hot glue gun
- soldering iron
I showed these and some other variations off at the Maker Faire
this May 19th and 20th with my collaborator, Annie Shao, at our Tribbles and Veeblefetzers workshop. More info on our workshop is at http://makerfaire.com/pub/e/195
Thanks to Lea Anna Drown and Matt Ho for taking the excellent pictures, and to Jen Kwong for modelling on the kitty cat pillow.