Intro: The Whappiest Companion Cube
Based off the companion cube body, I created a game that can bring two people together to share a moment by whapping.
I wanted to start playing with conductive fabric and was sitting around when I saw the Portal Companion Cube staring at me. Being a game designer, this was too good to pass up. I realized creating a plush cube is one of the easiest things to do, plus it's fun to throw, catch, and play with. With the player in mind to be able to instantly see this cube as a pick up a play, I started created the cube.
Step 1: Materials
The Adafruit Flora was a perfect fit to have both LEDs and conduction touch controls. Because of it's size though you are limited to only 8 spaces on the board. Someone can use a teensy or other board if they want to expand on the project. You'll also need conductive thread and fabric.
Adafruit Flora: https://www.adafruit.com/products/659
Conductive Fabric: https://www.adafruit.com/products/1168
Conductive Thread: https://www.adafruit.com/products/640
Neopixel LEDs!!: https://www.adafruit.com/products/1260
Colored Pieces of Wool
Glue or Adhesive
Step 2: Get Cutting, Ironing, Sewing and Make a Plush Dice
You'll need 6 sides to your cube. Cut out 6 squares of the same size. Whatever size these squares are will determined how big your cube is so make sure you don't get out of control.
After your main sides are cutout, you may want to add some flare. For the programming of the game itself, we are going to have rules that show to hit a certain color of LED. For my purposes, I ironed on color fabric on each of the cube's sides to make sure players knew what the blue side, red side, green side was. You can have whatever fabric you want with whatever patterns or color you want! Using adhesive glue, glue on the extra fabric to your base fabric. Make sure it is not too much as you do not want to have the cloth become wet. While the glue is attempting to dry, iron the cloth on a low setting. This make sure your cloth is not only thoroughly covered, but there will be no air bubbles lacking adhesive.
Once the 6 sides are exactly how you want them to look, sew them into the dice pattern.
Step 3: Conductive Fabric
Cut out your conductive fabric in whatever shape you wish that is touchable. Because the fabric can unravel, use a clear nail polish to stop any fraying and add an outside boarder of wool cloth. This improves the appearance and stops wear on it!
You'll need to use that conductive thread now to start threading from the conductive fabric to your controller board. Add two threads for each touchable fabric spot, one will go to it's own connection on the board, the other to with a resister that tells the LEDs to light up.
Use the adhesive and iron trick to attach your new touchable spots.
Step 4: LEDs!
Grab a hole puncher or cut small circles out in your fabric where you wish to have your LEDs shown. The neopixels will have spots that allow you to sew into the fabric. Make sure you can see the connections where - and + are so that you can hook up your circuit later. neopixels are also addressable, so you can add 1 to many in your array.
Step 5: Hook It Up!
Now for the fun part, follow circuit image provided to connect the fabric pieces with the thread to your board and connect the LEDs to your board as well. Because conductive thread isn't as nice as wire that has an outside shell, I used the add a straw to encase the thread so it wouldn't short out. Another tip is to use hot glue to encase anything that may short out.
Step 6: Code It!
After your circuit is ready, grab the code. Make sure you use the correct connections for the ones you will use in your code.
Step 7: The Touching Test
Test it out! Hook the board up with usb power or battery power and see if you can touch the fabric and the LEDs light up. The code provided gives you a game to play, but modify however you want to play any whappy game!
Sew up the 6 sides to create the cube. Add poly filler to it to make it nice and squishy, and you're ready to whap!