Becky Stern in collaboration with Phillip Burgess has made Firewalker LED sneakers, which is a pair of high-tops with NeoPixel strip and FLORA. It is another product of recently launched series of Adafruit’s wearable electronics platform. The main highlight of these sneakers is that they are occupied with velostat step sensor in the heel, that trigger fire animations while walking.
As the project involves sewing and soldering, it is recommended to have an overview of working of FLORA for better understanding of this project. To start with the pair of shoes, it requires 2 FLORA main boards, velostat, 2 meters NeoPixel 60-LED strip, 2 3xAAA battery holder with switch, conductive thread, shoes and premium jumpers or three pieces of silicone coated stranded wire.
A detailed circuit diagram as usual is available on the website. Velostat pressure sensor is connected to GND. The steps involved to install velostat step sensor are that a heel-shaped piece of velostat is cut down and taped in a loop of conductive thread in both shoes. Then a piece is soldered of 3-ply stranded ribbon cable to the three pads on the NeoPixel strip. Sensors and LED strip are hooked with alligator clips based on the circuit diagram with the codes.
Next the sensor are sewed to FLORA and NeoPixel LED strip is attached to the shoes. Lastly after testing the shoes with the simple sketch, one can upgrade to this sparkly, fire animation in the shoes. The sketch is copied and loaded onto the FLORA shoes with the Adafruit Arduino IDE. For your information, the NeoPixel strip is water resistant but the FLORA circuit used here is unprotected, so be cautious and flip your shoes off when get stuck in the rain. Special care and appropriate precautions are required otherwise the bendy part of the shoes that is the NeoPixel strip might eventually crack if it endures too much stress, so wear your shoes cautiously for maximum life.
For complete information, videos and codes, visit the website of Adafruit and give a try to make those funky shoes. All the best.
Filed Under: Reviews