I’m supporting people who don’t normally have the opportunity to create with maker electronics to do so. I’m currently working to help older adults create their own personalized electronic devices using the Craftec Toolkit System – an electronic toolkits based on maker electronics such as Arduino. Craftec is designed to support older adults in creating and making using their crafting skills. I informed the design of the toolkit through several methods, including observations, a survey with crafters, a participatory design workshop, and user evaluation workshops.

I’ve been enjoying helping older adults to create personalized devices, and I see this as an opportunity to improve how older adults engage with technology. I’ve focused much of my work on older adult crafters, since they’re a group of older adults who are already building tangible objects. I’ve also enjoyed the relationships I’ve developed with people in the Bloomington community, especially as a member of Bloomington’s Quilters’ Guild.

Below is an example of a quilt I helped create using LilyPad Arduino, an accelerometer, LEDs, and conductive thread. The quilt lights up the LEDs based on how long it has been since the person wearing it has moved.

This is a quilt I’ve helped to make as an example. It uses a LilyPad Arduino with an accelerometer and LEDs to indicate how long the wearer has been sitting.

I’m actively iterating on Craftec with a focus on supporting the creation of Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Below are two versions of Craftec I’ve been developing.

The Hard toolkit leverages magnetized jumper wires to make connections between components. The components also snap to the bases for easy replacement.
The Soft toolkit leverages conductive fabric to make connections between components. The components snap to the bases for easy replacement.