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Tobiko: A Contact Array for Self-Configuring, Surface-Powered Sensors

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This presentation is about a circuit board that taps into power by contacting an underlying circuit, without needing alignment. The Tobiko circuit works using passive components -- no battery. New connecting techniques will be needed for soft, stretchable circuits where there is no guarantee that a set of electrical contacts will have the same shape from one moment to the next.

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Tobiko: A Contact Array for Self-Configuring, Surface-Powered Sensors

  1. 1. Tobiko: A Contact Array for Self- Configuring, Surface- Powered Sensors Cindy Harnett University of Louisville c0harn01@louisville.edu Associated ACM CHI ‘17 conference paper http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=3025504
  2. 2. 10 years of intense research into soft electronic materials. Most computers aren’t soft (yet). How can we complete the interface? People move a lot and our skin stretches!
  3. 3. 10 years of intense research into soft electronic materials. Most computers aren’t soft (yet). How can we complete the interface? • Wireless modules aren’t stretchy or even flexible. They are getting smaller, which helps. People move a lot and our skin stretches!
  4. 4. 10 years of intense research into soft electronic materials. Most computers aren’t soft (yet). How can we complete the interface? • Wireless modules aren’t stretchy or even flexible. They are getting smaller, which helps. • Even if that’s solved, how can we join one soft circuit to another if it’s distorted? People move a lot and our skin stretches!
  5. 5. Detachable electronics help wearables survive getting wet
  6. 6. Can users build soft circuits into larger HCI assemblies? Can they make custom-fit garments? How will people repair them? Will we throw away a garment, vehicle, aircraft if part of it is damaged? https://www.designmom.com/living-well-4-secrets-to-patching-clothes/ http://aledavisa.blogspot.com/2012/09/domingo-diy-parches.html Conformal aircraft sensor concept http://www.morpheus.umd.edu/research/systems/BATS.html
  7. 7. Tobiko is a passive contact array • Goal: Tap into power & signals at unknown locations. • As a rigid circuit board, it could ride in a pocket in an electronic textile, then detach for washing • Implemented as a soft circuit itself, it might supply power, join, or repair other soft circuits.
  8. 8. Tobiko is a passive contact array • Goal: Tap into power & signals at unknown locations. • As a rigid circuit board, it could ride in a pocket in an electronic textile, then detach for washing • Implemented as a soft circuit itself, it might supply power, join, or repair other soft circuits. Electrode grid
  9. 9. Tobiko is a passive contact array • Goal: Tap into power & signals at unknown locations. • As a rigid circuit board, it could ride in a pocket in an electronic textile, then detach for washing • Implemented as a soft circuit itself, it might supply power, join, or repair other soft circuits. Electrode grid
  10. 10. Contact grids are usually made of stable materials • Metal contact grids are used in bumper cars and phone charging surfaces • But with soft circuits the dimensions of the contact grid can change. We can’t depend on uniformity. Bumper car video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GypVQrxudOc Charging system: http://opendotsalliance.org/about-us/history/
  11. 11. What happens when the power grid can distort? • Generalize from 4 points to a N x N contact array • Define the power grid in terms of gap and electrode width in units of pin spacing
  12. 12. What happens when the power grid can distort? • Generalize from 4 points to a N x N contact array • Define the power grid in terms of gap and electrode width in units of pin spacing
  13. 13. A fixed power grid is a point in the design space Grid 1 Grid 2 Grid 3 Grid 4
  14. 14. A distorted grid occupies a region in the space
  15. 15. Uniform stretching is a line through the space.
  16. 16. Stats for a 7x7 array at all angles and positions
  17. 17. Building a 7x7 with discrete parts
  18. 18. Testing the 7x7 array on soft circuits
  19. 19. What happens to a communication line? • The circuit will draw power from the extremes • Signal sources’ voltage can be pulled down easily • Keep the signal between the max and min power levels
  20. 20. What happens to a communication line? • The circuit will draw power from the extremes • Signal sources’ voltage can be pulled down easily • Keep the signal between the max and min power levels
  21. 21. Emerging technology can make diode arrays smaller and more conformal https://news.illinois.edu/blo g/view/6367/205853 Elastomer-embedded light emitting diodes with 500 micron pitch [Park 2009]

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