Feb 22, 2022, 12:20PM to 2:10PM

Welcome! The main objectives for today are to introduce the DC motor pumps, then experiment in pairs with motorized inflation and temporary rigging on the body.

At least one person in each work pair should have a completed vest. You may also wish to re-use some of your existing heat-sealed pneumatic test pieces.


Please bring a laptop on Thursday (or one per pair). Please try to install the free mu editor (or equivalent tools) in advance for working with CircuitPython microcontrollers.

Looking Ahead

  • Thursday: introduction to the wearable microcontrollers
  • Tuesday: visiting speaker (in-class, but remote presenter )
  • Thursday: costume integration, improvisatory kinetic sculpture
  • (Spring Break.)
  • (Start project, with interspersed topical workshops.)

DC Motor Pumps

Reference Guide

Materials Guide

Power and Plumbing

  • battery holders
  • rechargeable AA batteries
  • terminal blocks
  • DC motors with attached terminals
  • silicone tubing (expensive)
  • PVC tubing (affordable)

We will introduce the components and walk you through some ‘bench’ tests to what kind of results are feasible. It would be helpful to have both very small and larger pneumatic actuators at hand.

Vest Rigging

This is the experiment! We believe the vest can be used as a support foundation for the battery packs, pneumatic actuators, and tubing. We will try a variety of approaches to prototype a motorized pneumatic element on the body.

  • locating the battery pack and motor comfortably
  • locating the pneumatic element for visible or tactile effect
  • routing tubing
  • pinning, clipping, tying, basting


If you have not yet finished your vest construction, please consult with us as needed and complete it by Thursday.