1A – Basic Circuits Project – Wearable Turn Signals

Jake Scherlis- Designer, Jonathan Ortiz- Tutor, Myles Blodnick- Integrator


As the world has grown to become more environmentally conscious and less likely to pay the rising costs of fuel, there has been a huge growth in the percentage of the population using bicycles as their main method of transportation. Urban governments have encouraged this shift in an effort to reduce traffic congestion in growing cities as well as to mitigate pollution.

Before the advent of turn signals, automobile drivers would use their left hand to signal turns. Bicyclists adopted this and are legally required to use hand signals to turn and change lanes, but automobiles have evolved to use battery powered turn signals. As turn signals have become commonplace, a lot of new drivers on road are unaware of hand signals as they have not been previously exposed to them. This results in drivers not being able to properly interpret hand signals, leading to potential accidents and dangerous driving patterns.

The goal of our project was to make a wearable glove that would not hinder the riding experience or require any extra input on behalf of the bicyclist. This increases the bicyclists' safety as their turn signals are more easily interpreted by the automobile driver. This increases the safety of the rider in general, and also provides the opportunity to safely ride a bicycle during nighttime. With the use of this glove, the association between the hand signals and vehicular turn signals is restored.

The input for our machine is the rider’s hand motion while the ouput is a directional LED display of the user’s intention to turn or slow down.

Technical Notes

The basic frame of the wearable is a bicycle glove manufactured by Endura. The turn signals are composed of four white LED strips containing three LED’s , while the slowing down signal is made of one RGB LED strip containing six LED’s. The power source is one 9V battery, which utilizes a gravity dependent switch composed of a nut hanging from conductive thread and copper fabric contact points. Conducting threads caused a lot of errors and made me cry. They suck. We replaced them with wires.