Social Anxiety Sweater

Introduction: Social Anxiety Sweater

Do you want to let people know when they´ve stepped into your personal space, but you´re too shy or nervous around people to actually tell them off? Well, maybe making a Social Anxiety Sweater will help!

Features: This sweater will tell people that they are standing too close to you in three different ways:

1. 4 LED´s, which light up depending on how close people are to you.

2. A buzzer, which makes an unignorable high screeching noise, notifying people that they are way overstepping your boundaries!

3. An LCD screen, which will display different messages to people based off the distance between you and them.

Disclaimer and expectation management:

This tutorial is separated into two segments. The first segment explains how to connect different arduino parts in order to measure proximity and showing that with different kinds of output (steps 1-4).

The second part will explain, in rough steps, how to transform the little electronics project to an actual product – the Social Anxiety Sweater (steps 5-6). These last two steps are a bit messier, and leave a lot of room for you to improve upon the way the electronics are integrated into the clothing article.

In order to make this product, I followed the following three tutorials myself, so all the credit to those guys!

Link 1:

Link 2:

Link 3:

Materials,used in steps 1-4:

1 Arduino Uno

4 LED´s (2 green, one yellow, one red)

1 Piezo Buzzer (Used a Velleman sv3 in mine, but I don´t think it matters which kind you use)

1 LCD screen

1 Potentiometer

1 Infrared proximity sensor

24 Wires

2 Wires with crocodile clips

4 220 Ohm resistors

1 breadboard

Arduino 9 volt battery cable (and a 9 volt battery, duh)

Materials for step 5-6:

Soldering station

Tin (for soldering)

Long long wire (unless you want to solder small pieces of wire together. Which you don´t.)


Step 1: Infrared and LED´s

(illustration made using fritzing)

(These pictures are approximations of what your project should look like when step 1 has been assembled. The wires that I have put into the digital side of the arduino, however, slightly differ in the text due to later steps in the process)

Connect a wire from the gnd on the analog side of the arduino to the breadboard as shown in the illustration above. Connect a second wire from the 5v on the analog side of the arduino to breadboard.

Connect your first green LED to digital 3 on the arduino. Now add a resistor, which connects it to the gnd side of the breadboard (the long pin should be connected to the wire, the short pin to the resistor).

Repeating this manner of connecting the LED´s, connect the second green LED to digital 8, the yellow to digital 9 and the red to digital 10.

Connect the Gnd pin and the 5V pin of the infrared sensor to the appropriate sides of the breadboard. Connect the Trig Pin to digital 12 and the echo pin to digital 13.

Congratulations! Step one is done!

Step 2: A​dd Buzzer

(Illustration where the buzzer has been added)

(Illustration with only the buzzer, to make it more simple)

This is the step where we use the crocodile wires!

Connect a crocodile wire to each wire of the buzzer. To the other end of the crocodile wires, add a normal (male to male) wire.

Plug the Gnd wire (black) into the Gnd side of the breadboard.

Plug the 5V wire (red) into the digital 11 on the arduino.

That was easy, wasn´t it? Now on to the trickier part!

Step 3: Add LCD Display

(Illustration where the LCD screen and the potentiometer have been added)

(and again a version that only shows the wires and parts you will have to concern yourself with in this step)

(These are the materials we´ll be using)

(and it will end up looking something like this!)

Connect the vss pin of the screen (the leftmost one) to the groundside of the breadboard

Connect the vdd pin to the 5V side of the breadboard.

Connect the V0 pin to middle pin of the potentiometer.

Connect the RS pin to digital 1 on the arduino.

Connect the R/W pin to the groundside of the breadboard.

Connect the E pin to digital 2 on the arduino.

Connect the DB pins on the LCD screen to the corresponding digital pins on the arduino from 4 to 7 (including 7); for example, DB 4 goes to digital 4 on the arduino, and so on.

Connect one pin of the potentiometer to the ground side of the arduino, and the other to the 5V side. (In the case of the Velleman sv3, it doesn´t seem to make a difference which pin is connected to what, but that might be different in the case of another kind of potentiometer.)

Step 4: Add the Code!

Below, you´ll find the code for the entirety of the project.

Afterwards, add the 9 volt battery and the tech part of the project is done! Good job!

Step 5: Time for Some Soldering!

So, you´ve connected the tech parts of this project, and now roughly understand which wires are connected where and how?

Good! Then let us look at welding! I, myself, didn´t do a perfect job at welding; I´ll mention the parts in which you can do a better job than I did.

Follow the illustrations as a soldering guide. The wires are pretty much connected the exact same way as before, except for the LED´s, which have their own stripboard now. This board, however, is connected to another stripboard (in the upper right corner) which pretty much represents the breadboard used in the previous steps. The stripboard with the LED´s is connected to this board with two cable, one left of the leftmost resistor, the other right of the rightmost resistor.

You might want to replace some of the wires with longer wire, in order to display the different output parts at different parts of the clothing (see the next step!)

(The zoomed in illustrations show details; the dark parts show which parts are soldered together. Soldering should happen on the underside of the stripboard, as shown in the picture of the stripboard.)

Step 6: Sew the Thing!

I won´t be going in depth with how to stitch your now-soldered work into

a clothing article. However, I will show you some illustrations for inspiration of how I did it. Also, look at the video at the beginning of this instructable for a good view of the end product.

Thank you very much for following my instructions! I hope you ended up with a great product and less strangers in your personal space!

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    6 years ago

    Great idea! This could be a great project for someone with a family member with ASD or any other condition where the person doesn't communicate well. Thank you!


    6 years ago

    Haha what a fun idea!