Introduction: Making the SSAD Wearable

Instructable Vibrotactile Sensory Substitution and Augmentation Device ( shows a way of how to build a device that translates a sensory input into vibratory stimuli. Those vibratory stimuli are produced by cylindrical ERM motors that have to be attached to some part of the body.

In this Instructable, I will introduce a way of how to attach multiple motors as well as an Arduino Uno with a motorshield to the arm. This solution allows quickly changeable and flexible arrangement of motors (ideal for user studies).


  • 3D printer, or
    running arm bag, or
    hip bag
  • elastic fabric (e.g., from old shirt)
  • strong fabric (e.g., cotton twill tape, or reflective sport armbands)
  • Velcro
  • Sewing equipment (optimally a sewing machine)

Step 1: Sew Armband With Motorpockets

  1. Take an elastic or non-elastic fabric that is about 3.5 cm wide and 35-40 cm long. Personally, I used a cotton twill tape, but another solution might be to buy an elastic armband that is already equipped with Velcro or another way to open and close it around different arm girths. Reflective sport armbands, for example, can be acquired cheaply and seem like a good solution with less sewing effort.
  2. Sew Velcro at both ends of the armband, so you can fixate it tightly around the arm.
  3. Take an old t-shirt or other elastic fabric and cut out a piece that is slightly less wide and long than the armband.
  4. Sew the elastic fabric onto the armband like illustrated in the attached sketch.
  5. Vibration motors can now be flexibly positioned around the arm by putting them into the pockets that appear after sewing the two fabrics together.

Step 2: Print Arduino Case

If you have a 3D printer, print the model that is linked below. It is big enough to contain an Arduino Uno with a motorshield and a battery. The model can be thread into the sewed armband and thereby attached to the arm (see pics).

Find the 3D model here:

Step 3: Alternative Idea

If you do not have a 3D printer, or want to try something else, I would suggest buying a running arm bag (see picture) and sewing the motor pockets directly into the armband of the armbag.

Otherwise, also a hip bag might be suitable for storing the electronic parts (see sketch).