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.
- 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
- sewing machine
- biggish needle
- good scissors for the fabric; crappy scissors for the plastic scrap
- hot glue gun
- soldering iron
Thanks to Lea Anna Drown and Matt Ho for taking the excellent pictures, and to Jen Kwong for modelling on the kitty cat pillow.