For my final graduation project for my study Creative Technology at the University of Twente, I developed a Arduino-nano based pneumatic shield for the control of pneumatically actuated wearables.

Pneumatic wearables are essentially small air-pockets / balloons, integrated into clothing, that can be in- and deflated to either provide a sense of touch, actuate something or they can be used as pressure sensors.

There is no accessible way to prototype these pneumatics. There are systems like Pneuduino and Programmable air, but they are quite expensive and don’t offer precise control. This is what my solution tries to solve.

The back side of the PCB. Many blood sweat and tears were needed to solder this PCB…

The shield is able to provide accurate closed loop pressure and airflow control of up to 4 outputs. Each output has a pressure sensor, and can either FILL, HOLD, or RELEASE air from an actuator. Actuators can be directly connected to the outputs without the need of any external tubing or connectors. It is an Arduino Nano shield, and left-over pins can be used to connect external sensors and actuators. The shield can be powered by any 5V/2A power source (e.g. a power bank)

The board is super cost effective at a component price of just €16. This is way cheaper than any solution out there, whilst still offering decent performance.

The shield can be controlled by a PC dashboard application, or by using the Arduino Library for full control.

I also made a 12 output setup, which doesn’t have the accurate control that the smaller shield has, but is more focused on controlling a lot of outputs.

I finished the graduation project with a 9