Pacman Ghost (UCSD Extenstion Wearable Electronics)

Yesterday was our first day of the Wearable Electronics class. After a quick introduction and overview of electronics and circuits by our teacher Fabiola, we were given a pair of LED’s, a 3V Coin Cell Battery, a pile of thrift clothes, a pair of scissors, a spool of conductive thread, and a needle and told to make something. Everyone’s first ideas looked great in the paper sketches, but once we started cutting up the thrift clothes (with scissors as sharp as butter knives), there was a lot of rethinking of our choices. My original idea was to make a penguin, with LED’s for the eyes, but after cutting out the body and laying it on the background, I realized it looked more like a blob than a penguin body. It only took a small jump of my imagination and I saw a Pacman ghost waiting for me to create him. After an hour of tedious cuts, I was finally ready to sew everything together, but there was a little problem, quite literally. It took 10 minutes of hunching over a needle and re-licking the thread until my countless tries finally payed off, which was great, until I ran out of thread again 3 minutes afterward. Two hours and countless attempts at needle threading later, I finally had a ghost sitting before me, it was time to add the electronics, which surprisingly turned out to be easier than I expected. Though the conductive thread was even bigger than the regular thread (and we had to strip it in half just to get it through the needle eye), once the needle was threaded and ready to go, it was just a matter of stitching the LED’s together in a parallel circuit to the switch and battery. After two days and hours of work, I’m proud to present my Pacman Ghost: