Wearables – BernBand

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Inspired by Bernie Sanders. Created by Jaime Chu and Robert Rudolph

The BernBand is powered by the people through Twitter. Whenever anyone tweets #FeelTheBern, the user is able to physically feel a hot pulse to their wrist allowing them to stay updated with the campaign trail anywhere and anytime.

With the 2016 election coming up, we wanted to create this device to stay connected to the political community. We noticed an increasing trend in #FeelTheBern and found it connected to the application of the Peltier element to enhance the presidential race. Ideally, we would like this to be worn by Bernie’s competitors so they can feel the burn from the BernBand.

YouTube / Bob Rudolph – via Iframely


Using a peltier cooler from Pololu, we were able to generate hot and cold temperatures with a 11.1V Li-Po battery. When a voltage is applied across the device, a difference in temperature will build up between the two sides, making one side hot and one side cool. In our initial proof of concept we were able to create a cooling sensation on one side of the cooler and use a large heat sink to draw the heat away from the other side. Using a fan also helped us cool the heat sink faster, making the cold colder.

When a voltage is applied in the opposite direction, the hot side becomes cold and vice versa. In order to apply this knowledge, we used a DRV8833 Dual Motor Driver to control the direction of the current. This gave a larger range of temperatures from cold to hot, rather than just cold or just hot. For the BernBand, we were able to control the pulses using a SparkCore. We chose to use a SparkCore because it had WiFi-enabled capabilities to scrape Twitter for specific tweets. The SparkCore is powered through a 5V input through a 5V step-down voltage regulator.

The packaging was inspired by one of Bernie Sander’s issues on climate change. In order to be more sustainable, we used 100% recycled materials for our shell and decided on a 70’s and retro look.

Previous Iterations
We went through a variety of different iterations with the Peltier cooler. We first started with the concept of recreating Wristify, a technology from MIT labs. Once we were able to successfully recreate it, we thought of multiple different applications this device could be used in. We came up with using it in a virtual reality setting, as part of weather monitor, or even as a reminder tool. We decided not to go with the other methods because they were not entirely connected to the application. to the Ultimately, we thought this would work best in a more relevant application to today’s society.

Download code to scrape Twitter here
Download code to control the pulses here
Download solidwork files here

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