Workshop wearables all’ITS di Biella


L’ITS Tessile Abbigliamento Moda di Biella é un Istituto Tecnico di nuova generazione che propone percorsi biennali post diploma

alternativi all’università ma a essa collegati, per formare tecnici superiori in grado di inserirsi nei settori strategici del sistema economico-produttivo, portando nelle imprese competenze altamente specialistiche e capacità d’innovazione.

Il 22 Gennaio ho tenuto un workshop di introduzione ai microcontrollori e agli smart textile con un’attivitá hands-on pratica, invitata da Fablab Biella.

La galleria di immagini è consultabile sul Flickr di Wemake.


Wearables al Museo della Scienza di Milano


Sabato prossimo sono ospite insieme a Costantino Bongiorno – co-founder di WeMake – nella Tinkering Zone del Museo della Scienza e della Tecnica di Milano per un workshop gratuito supportato da Henkel.

Si può indossare la tecnologia?
Hai mai immaginato di personalizzare un accessorio fashion?

“Fashion goes interactive” e’ workshop gratuito per maker, designer, stiliste, ricercatrici, studentesse e tutte le donne che vogliano scoprire come tecnologia, arte e design si fondono con il mondo del fashion. Nella Tinkering Zone del Museo, un incontro speciale dedicato al making, per sperimentare la “wearable technology” e customizzare gli accessori utilizzando Arduino e i sensori tessili. Continue reading Wearables al Museo della Scienza di Milano

3 minuti per parlare di Makers, Arduino Day e WeMake a Repubblica Next


Sabato 29 Marzo, dopo aver trascorso tutto il giorno a WeMake insieme a 300 persone appassionate di Arduino, ho partecipato all’evento Next – Repubblica delle Idee, curato da Riccardo Luna.

QUi trovate una piccola intervista di accompagnamento e a breve il video dalla sala Melato del Teatro Piccolo !

Con me sono intervenuti Innocenzo Rifino di Digital Habits con Cromatica e Piero Santoro di Yradia con MEG a presentare i due progetti basati su Arduino e in partenza con le campagne di crowdfunding!

Ecco il video:

Repubblica Next – Zoe Romano


Afroditi experiments with embroidery, soft circuits and diy electronics

afroditi psarra

(originally created and posted on Arduino blog)

The work of Afroditi Psarra includes experimentation with embroidery, soft circuit and diy electronics. I got in touch with her after discovering she was holding a workshop in Barcelona around sound performances using Lilypad Arduino along with a really cool embroidered synthesizer (…and also submitting her project to Maker Faire Rome !).

Even if her background is in fine arts, as a little girl she got interested in creative ways of expression: on one side she was lucky enough to have all sorts of after-school activities that included painting, theater games and learning but also how to program using LOGO and QBasic. That was in the days of black-and-white terminals and MS-DOS commands:

I still remember the excitement of not knowing what to expect at the opposite side of the screen. So for me, technology has always been a major part of my life.


Continue reading Afroditi experiments with embroidery, soft circuits and diy electronics

Knitic project, or how to give a new brain to knitting machines

knitic - Varvara&Mar


(originally created and posted on Arduino blog)

Knitic is an open source project which controls electronic knitting machines via Arduino. To be more precise, Knitic is like a new ‘brain’ for the Brother knitting machines allowing people to create any pattern and modify them on the fly. Knitic kit is composed by an Arduino Due, a diy printed circuit board on top of it, connected to the electronic parts of the original machine, (like end-of-line sensors, encoder, and 16 solenoids) and a software to control the needles real-time.

knitic - Arduino Due

In the past days I interviewed Varvara & Mar, the duo who developed the project. They’ve been working together as artists since 2009 and their artistic practices lay at the intersection between art, technology, and science. When I run into their project I immediately liked their approach as they see knitting machines as the first real domestic fabrication tool, that has been  overlooked in the age of digital fabrication.

Check the tutorial above and then below some answers to the questions I sent them.

How come you got interested in knitting?
Everything started in January 2012. We had an idea to knit poetry from spam emails. Hence, we were invited to the 3-month-long residency at MU gallery in Eindhoven and 1-month residency with solo exhibition at STPLN in Malmö,  to develop our project. After seeing MAKE magazine article on hacked knitting machine by Becky Stern, we thought it’s easy and fun to do the hack. Well, we had a bit underestimated the complexity of the project, but finally made more than one knitting machines work and started also Knitic project.

How and why did Arduino become useful to your project?
Arduino is A and B in our work. It means we use Arduino for many purposes, and to be honest, we don’t imagine our lives without it.
We applied Arduino already in our first hack of knitting machines, when floppy emulation script didn’t work for us, since we had 940 and not the 930 machine. Hence, we connected all buttons of knitting machine keypad to Arduino and were able to program knitting machine automatically.
In terms of Knitic, Arduino has a key role, because it gets the outputs of sensors, energize the right solenoids according to the pattern, and communicates with Knitic program written in Processing.

Some weeks ago you were at Maker Faire in Newcastle : which type of people got interested mostly about Knitic? 
Interestingly, the most interested group of people were Dutch educators and the ones connected to creative industries. Also people from local hacklabs were very interested.

In some of your presentations you said that knitting and some other more crafty practices are a bit overlooked by fablabs and makerspaces, why do you think is it like that? Is it a matter of gender balance or there’s something more?
We think it is mainly because of the gender and also because MIT, where the  concept of fablab comes from, is dominated by engineers and architects, who saw more potential in hard-surfaced object fabrication, like 3d printing, laser cutting, CNC, etc. Plus there is not much information about hacking and developing open source knitting or sewing machine online. But we hope that things are slowly changing and soon lots of makerspaces will have knitting machines and other tools for handcraft. Hence, we think Knitic is an important example for re-empowering crafts with novel digital fabrication approaches.

knitic - Makerfaire

I have a knitting machine at home and I realized you need a lot of patience to make it work, but then it’s fun. Do you think that these hacks could lower the barriers and make it more attractive to less nerdish types?
We don’t think that knitting requires more patience than 3D printing, for example. To be honest, with knitting one is able to achieve first results much faster than with a 3D printing machine. To learn a new skill always requires some time investment.

In your opinion, what type of micro-business connected to these knitting machines could flourish in the next years?
Good question. Definitely, custom made knitwear. At the moment, there are no services which are offering knitwear (sweater, scarf, etc) with your own pattern and letting you chose the yarn type. There could be also  lots of interactive knitting and unique pattern generations. For example, we are working on a project called NeuroKnitting right now.
Soon we’ll make more information available on it. In addition to that, there is another business option that is open hardware in the form of Knitic Kit (pcb and components) or, why not, the whole knitting machine.

Thank you!

From the idea to the prototype with the help of open design

At the end of July I spent a week at Supsi with Massimo Banzi and around 20 participants at the Physical & Wearable computing with Arduino summer school.

The focus of the course was on the design and prototyping of digitally fabricated interactive objects. It was the first time I was working with Massimo and some weeks before I shared with him the approach I had in mind.

Usually, wearable technology workshops start from ready-made garments or accessories. Old gloves and t-shirts, cheap belts or jackets are “decorated” with technology.
I wanted to experiment a different point of view.
I would have brought some rough prototypes of wearable accessories made of felt and produced with a lasercut.

I prepared the files during the previous months with the help of professional tailor Nadia – who knows much about measures and fit, and Vectorealism, my partners at Wefab – who gave me direct access to the lasercut to prepare the first drafts.

I wanted to present these drafts to the students so they could have an idea of what it meant to use felt with a lasercut and allow them to get inspired touching, wearing and exploring some real examples.

The workshop didn’t require any knowledge in fashion design or sewing, and when you don’t know anything about a topic is pretty hard to be creative especially when you have, at the same time, to deal with leds, sensors and programming.

That’s why I thought it would be useful to start from some Open Design, to “copy” from a series of ready-made that could be easily adapted to the different necessities of a wearable interaction and, in a way, adapt their shape to it.

I explained the students that at the end of the week those prototypes would have become a package and released with a Creative Commons License on Thingiverse and if they come up with any new idea, it could be added to the collection.

thingiverse openwear

And after days of designing, cutting and even sewing here’s the result: “Lasercut Wearable Prototype Collection – Felt Edition” is now available on Thingiverse and you can download it and prod/use it yourself!

Lasercut Wearable Prototypes Collection - Felt Edition

I’m sure that there are many other accessories that could be added to this initial collection, so if you want to collaborate you can create derivatives directly on Thingiverse, join our OpenwearShare flickr group or contact me directly on twitter ( @openwear_cc ) in case you want to add some new items.

A special mention goes to Thomas Amberg who created a cool project to help a friend and used the Modular Belt as a base for it. You can read the documentation of his project here:
And a second mention goes to the team of students who worked at the FrogBike Back and accepted to release it within the collection!