Friday’s Tips & Tricks: The Bend Sensor Bit

All About Our Bendiest Bit

June 7, 2013
BendSensor_1LR(cropped)
The bend sensor is activated when the strip is flexed. To signal to the output Bits, bend the strip down, towards the Bit’s feet . Please make sure not to crease it, that could damage the Bit! Try this with a bargraph to test its sensitivity.

Build The Circuit

To get started with your bend sensor try building a simple circuit. Place a blue power Bit before your bend sensor and green output Bit (we like the bargraph) after the bend sensor. Bend the sensor back and forth to see how the sensor controls the output.

BendSensor_3

Now, it’s time to start experimenting! Here are some of our favorite ways to use this great Bit.

Crafty

If you like to DIY and enjoy creating projects with found materials, consider the following:

1. Create a Dimmer
Use your bend sensor as a dimmer by adding different amounts of weight to it. The bargraph is a great output for this experiment so you can easily measure just how much the bend sensor is activating the output as you put more weight on the bend sensor. We experimented with clay. What other materials would you experiment with?
BendSensorGIF
2. Create a Pulse 
By placing uneven tension on the bend sensor you can use it to create different types of pulsing effects. You can use any sort of clip to create this effect: paper clip, binder clip, clothespin, etc.
power+bend sensor (with clothes pin) + buzzer

power + bend sensor (with clothespin) + vibration motor

power + bend sensor (with binder clip) + DC motor (with wheel)

3. Create An Inverter
By attaching the bend sensor Bit to a slide dimmer, you can create alternating outputs. The movement of the bend sensor causes it to act like an inverter.
2 circuits_as inverterLR

Design

If you are willing to invest in some tools and time, consider the following…

4. Starburst Shooting Game 

Use a paper towel tube and a coaster to build this fun little game!
     1. Build a circuit that’s power + wire + bend sensor + long LED
     2. Attach the circuit to the paper towel roll, with the bend sensor at one of the openings.
     3. Tape the coaster to the bend sensor, and stand up the paper towel roll
     4. Start throwing starbursts and see if you can light up the long LED!

5. Hair Accessories
Use your bend sensor to create some amazing wearables! Check out the these great hair accessories our designers Emily and Krystal are sporting.
Emily’s is a fixed pressed bending sensor, because of her hairstyle, the light Wire Bit will be always on.
emily_Light wire_LR
Krystal’s is a hair-tie with a built in bargraph. When her hair moves it changes the position of the bend sensor and lights up the bargraph.
Krystal_bargragh

Expert

Up to the challenge of creating a self-operating machine? Try this out:

6. Perpetual Motion

Looking for something a little more challenging? Try creating a device that turns itself on and off. Our friends over and Frog Design were able to create this little machine with the bend sensor that can turn itself on and off.

 

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