Many people (especially those with autism spectrum disorder) have difficulty communicating with others around them. That is always a challenge, but becomes particularly noticeable when one cannot convey their emotions through body language. If someone can’t show that they’re not in the mood to talk, that may lead to confusing interactions. To help people express their emotions, University of Stuttgart students Clara Blum and Mohammad Jafari came up with this wearable device that makes them obvious.
The aptly named Emotion Aid sits on the user’s shoulders like a small backpack. The prototype was designed to attach to a bra, but it could be tweaked to be worn by those who don’t use bras. It has two functions: detecting the user’s emotions and communicating those emotions. It uses an array of different sensors to detect biometric indicators, such as temperature, pulse, and sweat, to try and determine the user’s emotional state. It then conveys that emotional state to the surrounding world with an actuated fan-like apparatus.
An Arduino Uno Rev3 handles these functions. Input comes from a capacitive moisture sensor, a temperature sensor, and a pulse sensor. The Arduino actuates the fan mechanism using a small hobby servo motor. Power comes from a 9V battery. The assembly process is highly dependent on the way the device is to be worn, but the write-up illustrates how to attach the various sensors to a bra. There are many possible variations, so the creators of the Emotion Aid encourage people to experiment with the idea.
You can read more about the Emotion Aid, which was developed by Blum and Jafari as part of the University of Stuttgart’s ITECH master’s program, here on Instructables.
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