Propeller Pasties v.1 (July 2018 : a recap)
Sometime early last summer, I decided to build the augment for the top half of my body: a device which addressed my breasts and nipples! I generally had an idea of how this device would manifest, and I knew from the start that it most certainly had to involve propellers…….. of course.
Very early during the process of brainstorming, I knew I wanted to create something which somehow measured nipple diameter as its form of input, because really, what else is there to sense from a nipple?
I was researching different sensors which might accurately do the trick, when my partner Mark unearthed some boards he had made from the bowels of the lab and suggested I play with them a bit.
Short-Range IR Distance Sensors. I honestly wasn’t expecting them to work as well as they did. I designed a pastie standoff in CAD, and in the matter of a day, had build something that was capable of sensing very slight fluctuations from the nipple once placed over the areola.
I was able to watch the values with the serial monitor shift up and down as I manually moved my finger in front of the sensor. Now that I could visualize the granularity of the information received, I had only to decide what it was going to control.
For reasons I can’t remember now, I decided that the nipple augment would involve spinning propellers. Of course, right?!
Each pastie would have a propeller which would spin at a speed relating to the value detected by the sensor. The motor used to drive the rotation of the propeller was stepped down by a fancy gearbox, which I parlayed into a mechanical messaging device for inside the pastie housing.
I built a cheeky test fixture for the augment which used foam earplugs as nipple stand-ins. I used these nipple-proxies to dial in the propellers’ seeped of rotation relative to the values read by the sensor as the “nipple” transitioned through different sizes.
Such as it is, the augment could be described as: A device which uses an IR distance sensor to gather input from the nipple regarding its size, in order to control the speed of a motor which spins a propeller as the desired form of output. The spinning of the motor supplementally messaged the nipple as well as feedback.
POV Pasties v.2 (March 2019)
The first iteration worked, but I honestly never wore it on my body. There are reasons for this (primarily the nipple proxy to gears), but I always felt the first manifestation was somewhat of a proof of concept anyway.
Early on I knew I wanted my propeller to use the POV effect to indicate my nipple’s size using single suggestive words. This Spring I finally got around to designing the custom controller board which might do the trick.
“POV” stands for “persistence of vision”. If you aren’t familiar with it, this is basically an effect that leverages how your eyes and brain perceive things in order to spell words in the air with lights that are moving quickly through the air.
The Part of this that is MAGIC. So, how does one control a POV effect on moving propellers in real time with a stationary sensor located somewhere else in the system???
(it isn’t magic) The “Persistence of Vision” effect uses some type of sensor to track how fast the propeller is spinning. Based on its RPM, the code knows exactly how fast to blink the LEDs in order to create the appearance of words.
My propellers use a “Hall effect” sensor to do this- and it is also what allows me to reinstate the real-time connection between my nipple and the words spelt by the propellers.
The IR sensor which reads the nipple-size directly controls how fast the motor is spins. The speed of the motor is detected my the Hall effect sensor on the propeller. The transfer of data from IR sensor -> motor -> Hall effect sensor is how I reinstate the cause and effect relation between nipple and the words spelled out in light.
THE POV PROPELLER
I had never made anything that was capable of creating the persistence of vision effect, but Mark ensured me that so long as I had enough equally-spaced LEDs, a form of Hall effect sensor, and that the propeller was mostly balanced- figuring out the rest would be doable. So I did as he suggested and made this little diddy:
It’s equipped with the appropriate wiggle-traces and all, 8 small SMT LEDs, a tiny ATMEGA 328 chip, and is powered by a coin-cell battery holder at each end, which mostly keep the entire thing balanced with their mass. The two holes in the center help keep the propeller registered, and mount onto the hub of a small DC motor with the help of an additional 3D printed coupling:
Of course, I had them fabricated in a delicious RED to match the rest of the SHE BON trim:
Starting on March 11th, I began designing the housing which would couple the active components to my body! In an important way, the reason why I consider this to bee a v. 2 of the augment, instead of a second iteration of V. 1, is because of the this housing and how it effects the function of the device.
The most important aspect of the new breast plate: it is a universal mounting hub that is threaded. This means that any system I develop can potentially fit onto the hub, so long as it has threading to match!
So the universal hub is somewhat of a separate animal from the functioning assembly that screws onto it. The interchangeable assemblies are like bagels of many different flavors that I can switch out to suit my fancy =P
The POV assembly would be design around the footprint of a particular “found object” from a furniture store that I happened to be drawn to. This shape was the base cover of a cheap desk mounted lamp and had a surface quality like mirror; a perfect chrome.
I bought a second lamp just so that I could have two of these base covers, one foe each breast. Once I modeled the base-cover in Fusion, I was able to integrate it into the rest of the assembly with ease and visualize how it would look onto of my universal hub:
Did I mention that the relative depth of the universal mounting plate is also adjustable! Cause, it is…
There are a top and bottom ring that sandwich a strip of sheet plastic between them. The thickness of the plastic strip determines the depth of the enclosure:
Once the strip is sandwiched between the top and bottom ring pieces, it creates something of a plastic ice-cream sandwich:
The other new aspect of the mounting hub is that I took into account ahead of time that there were going to be straps.
Wah-wah… I know. This makes the device somewhat less “pasties” per say, and just more of a full on bra, but for now it is a lot easier that attempting to adhere a heavy plastic assembly to my delicate boob skin.
To keep in proper machine-form, I stuck stubbornly to radial symmetry and added a loop ever 120 degrees so they were equally spaced from one-another.
Surprising, this worked out alright once worn on my body:
Think bathing suite bikini: there is a “behind the neck” strap, and a “behind the back” strap. The “behind the neck” strap has a fixed length as of now, where the “behind the back” strap is adjustable. (though this is likely to change):
I fashioned some more germinate straps from the same sheet plastic and one I had my measurements and tried on the bare mounting plates with nothing screwed onto them. It is effectively the most useless bra!
For reference, here are two different assemblies screwed onto the universal hub:
There were a few other key parts that I had to design in order to get the system to work.
On the front of the chrome plate, I had too create a hub mount for the DC motor driving the propeller. The hub mount would also need to have a magnet mounted in a specific spot below the spinning propeller so that the on board Hall effect sensor would work and provide for my POV effect.
On the back of the chrome plate, I had to create a mount for my IR sensor which would also hole my nipple at a set distance from the sensor itself.
You’ll notice some wires sicking out of the motor hub. These are the connections that provide power to the IR sensor within, and the DC motor. They had to be driven by something and require power. Sense the propellors are driven by low current coin cell batteries and are alas… spinning…. I am powering the system off the good ‘ol Pulse Pack (core system).
For the time being, I made a quick motor driver module that would fulfill the function as arbiter between the system’s working parts and the Pulse Pack:
The fully stuffed assemblies twist onto the universal mounting hub and then jack into that little module in the center of the bra that I attached with zip ties (for now):
Here is a shot to compare the new version of the Propeller Pasties (top) to the old one from last year (bottom):
The POV effect is a little tricky to capture well with my GoPro, so Mark helped me out and took some slow shutter pics with his fancy camera. In these you can see that they do in fact work quite well 🙂
If you would like to see a more detailed breakdown of the system, I made a video highlighting how everything works: