One of my greatest frustrations with the Lilypad Arduino is the inability to swap out the microcontroller to use in different projects. This is particularly ineffective when I’m teaching workshops and I have ten different e-textile samples I want to demo — I always revert to using the Arduino Duemilanove because of it’s flexibility. Frogr, developed by Angella Mackey and David McCallum, is an e-textile shield that addresses this very problem.
Sewing traces with conductive thread to snaps
To construct Frogr, connect each pin of the Lilypad to fabric snaps using conductive thread. This allows the Lilypad to be easily snapped in and out of each project.
For your batteries, Frogr is designed with a nice little battery pouch that allows you to slip in a coin cell battery to power the Lilypad. If you need more power, you can always attach your battery source onto the garment itself instead of the Frogr shield.
Using a stencil, you trace the placement of the snaps onto your garment to ensure that your snap connections align.
So once you create one shield, you can reuse it for every project or prototype. I love it! The project is currently a first stage prototype. Download a pdf for a Lilypad Arduino e-textile shield here and make your very own. And in the heart of the DIY ethos, I think it would be great to receive feedback on your experience using Frogr. You can email Angela directly at: angella [at] superdress [dot] ca. I’m going to make one this weekend and will let you know how it goes. Thanks Angela & David for a great first prototype!