Introduction: HUGME

About: Industrial Engineering Design student from ELISAVA, Barcelona

Authors. @ferranalguero (Ferran Algueró) & @gedelgat (Gemma Delgado)

Engineering in Industrial Design. ELISAVA

Step 1: HUGME

Imagine you being able to feel the touch of your partner hugs when kilometres of distance are between us.


Hugme is a technology developed in order to simulate sensitive cuddles, affection and love and has been designed for those couples who are in long distance relationships or spend a lot of time being separated. Hugme proposes a new way of distance communication which keeps the sense of touch real and avoids the coldness of digital interaction.

Where does everything strart from?

Time passes by and everyone’s circumstances change. Sometimes a long journey appears and it comes with the decision of leaving h­­ome for a long time. But what happens when there is a relationship in between? What happens when leaving home also means leaving a partner behind?

Nowadays, in a world immersed in constant communication development, which is ruled by new technologies and social media, long distance relationships are a common way of love. People practice it and maintain communication via messages, voice messages, pictures, calls and video calls; it seems to work.

But in this entire new context, is there any space for the most primary human interaction? Is there any space for that way of communication which is not only about words, but senses and feelings? Is there any space for that way of communication about warmth and feeling loved with the simple touch of a hug?

Where does everything go to?

Hugme is the answer to all these last questions: is a cloth implanted technology developed in order to create the space where cuddles and hugs can be felt even through distance.

De technology works because of pressure sensors and vibrating motors as actuators, included in a wearable, which are able to interact between ones and others via Wi-Fi signal. When using the technology, both people of the couple have to wear Hugme.

When the first person wants to cuddle his or her partner, he or she just has to cuddle him or herself in the part of the body that is wanted. The first person pressure sensors, which are located in different spaces of the wearable, notice this interaction and send the signal to the vibrating motors located in the second person’s wearable. Is in this moment when the second person feels as if cuddled by the first one.

Step 2: The Arduino Project

What is presented in this Instructable is the “do it yourself” of the prototype which illustrates the technology proposed. It consists in an only-pieced-garment which has both sensors and actuators on it. Instead of taking the information from the sensor of the first person garment and send it via Wi-Fi signal to the actuators of the other person garment, this prototype interacts with itself. In general terms it allows a person to interact and cuddle with his or her own self.

Moreover, the connections have been tested in anapart-plush-board composed by an only sensor and an only actuator. So this piece is the one used to show the prototyping part.

Step 3: Materials and Supplies

To test the apart-plush-board

  • piece of plush (20x20cm)
  • 1 Arduino LilyPad USB Plus board
  • 1 force sensor
  • 1 vibe motor
  • 1 resistor (700 Ohms)
  • cotton threat
  • conductive threat
  • needle
  • tin
  • soldering iron

To sew the only-piece-garment

  • t-shirt
  • 1 Arduino LilyPad USB Plus board
  • 3 force sensor
  • 6 vibe motor
  • 1 resistor (700 Ohms)
  • conductive threat
  • needle
  • tin
  • soldering iron

These are the materials and supplies that are needed to develop the prototypes needed to recreate how everything would work. However, in a real context, all materials would have to be doubled as far as the system needs two t-shirts and bodies to interact. Moreover, there would be a use of more sensors and actuators in other parts of the body. In a real context there would also be needed a Wi-Fi signal component.

Step 4: Components Connection

Before writing the code or starting to sew is important to understand how everything has to be connected. It is very important not to sew with double conductive threat. It means there can only be one line of threat along every connection.

The first layout illustrates the connection we are going to show step by step how has been sewed in the apart-plush-board to test if everything works. If anyone wanted to sew the only-piece-garment, would need to work on the second layout

Step 5: The Code

The code is simple and easy to adapt to the only-piece-garment proposal in case someone wants to test the proposal in an advanced way. However, to make everything works, it is needed to build the connections very carefully. They have to be well joint and the conductive threat has to be in perfect contact with all the components.

Here is the apart-plush-board code, which you can also find attached.

const int PS2 = A4; //force sensor connection
const int V1 = A9; //vibe motor connection

int PS2state = 0;

void setup() {

pinMode(V1, OUTPUT); //vibe motor working as an output


void loop() {

PS2state = analogRead(PS2); //program reads what the sensor is feeling from the outside

if (PS2state >400) { //vibe motor will only work when pressure is made by purpose, not in other cases.

digitalWrite(V1, HIGH); //when force sensor notices pressure --> vibe motor works


digitalWrite(V1, LOW); //after a delay, vibe motor stops



Step 6: Prototyping: Step by Step

Again, here is presented the step by step of the apart-plush-board development. In case anyone wants to build the only-piece-garment proposal can follow the same process by creating the connections showed in the second layout of the step 4.

  1. Locating the components. Before anything it can be useful to locate every component where it is wanted to be sewed.
  2. Drawing the connections. It is also useful to draw the way the conductive threat has to follow when sewed.
  3. Sewing the LilyPad. Start placing the LilyPad in the plush board by sewing it with cotton thread through two pins you are not going to use.
  4. Sewing from the LilyPad. When the LilyPad is placed, start sewing the connections twisting conductive thread along the pins and then, sewing it following the lines you have drawn previously. It is important to do it in small and hard stitches, with only one conductive threat along all the stitches.
  5. Sewing until the component. When the stitches arrive to the previously placed component it is time to make the last stitch. After it, you have to leave a long part of conductive threat so as to be able to make future modifications and the joint with the component.
  6. The way across the resistor. Everything is easy and mechanical to sew excepting the force sensor positive connection. In this, there appears a resistor which has to be built with two ears in their both ends. You will use them to twist and connect the conductive threat with the resistor.
  7. Joining pin and resistor’s way. The force sensor positive connection needs to be divided in two connections. One goes to the pin, and the other goes to the resistor way. It means you have to create a small DIY piece which has to ears too. In these you will be able to twist and tie all conductive threat which has to be joined in order to close the circuit.
  8. Components joint preparation. To be able to sew the sensor and the actuator you have to prepare the components with small welded ears too. Thanks to them you will be able to sew the conductive threat through them and connect it to the sensor and the actuators. The circuit will be finished!

Step 7: The Coldness of Distance Comunication

Step 8: The Warmth of HUGME Interaction

Step 9: HUGME or HACK ME?