Saturday, August 31, 2013

Compass Belt

Over the last week I have been assembling a compass belt. It is a belt lined with ten motors controlled by an arduino. The motor closest to north vibrates so that the person wearing the belt always knows which direction is north. I am not the first person to build a compass belt: Here is a list of all the parts I used: Total cost: $174.13 (although a subset of this cost is for tools - just the belt components would be $143.89). Thanks to dllu for helping me design the circuit. It turned out to be a lot more time consuming to build than I was anticipating. I blame it mostly on the terrible soldering iron (which doesn't get hot enough). Here I am wearing the belt:

Here is a picture of the inside:

The belt seems to work well - it is quiet, accurate, and updates instantly when I turn around. I haven't actually found it useful yet - it seems pointless to wear it in places that I am already familiar with (and it looks silly). Even if I don't end up using it, it was fun to build and I learned a lot about electronics.