The Lilypad Vibe Board

The Lilypad Vibe Board is an excellent way to quickly integrate haptic effects into a wearable project. It uses an eccentric rotating mass (ERM) motor and can be driven directly from a general purpose IO pin from an Arduino board. It relies on 5-volt logic and places a 33-ohm resistor in series with the DC motor to reduce the current draw below the 40ma maximum that can be drawn from an output pin of an Arduino board. It also contains a protective diode to prevent damage to a connected IC.

Although the Lilypad Vibe Board can be integrated very quickly into a project and uses a well-designed circular PCB with sewable and solderable pads, the board cannot be used to produce advanced haptic effects easily. Because its current draw is limited to the output of an Arduino output pin, its vibration does not reach the rated maximum of the motor. Likewise, it contains no pre-programmed effects, and the reduced power consumption also reduces the effectiveness of pulse-width modulation for creating custom effects. We recommend using it for projects and prototypes that require simple alerts – its ease of integration makes it very useful when advanced effects aren’t necessary.

Author: Shantanu Bala

Shantanu Bala graduated from Arizona State University in 2014 with a double B.S. in Computer Science and Psychology.

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