2020-05-10 (Su) Touch Atari Punk Console APCTouch

I envisioned a two-sphere control where a user would press down on a small inflatable ball, and that pressure would translate to a sensor connected to the APC. I tried to find suitable parts at a nearby store and came out pretty well. The balls would be a couple of grapefruit-sized foam balls, and they would rest in metal pet food bowls. The bowls were conductive, which was lucky since my pressure sensors only needed to have a single conductor because the steel would act as the second.

My first attempt was to lash a strip of conductive plastic back and forth on top of itself, but it was annoying to keep it in place. My next try was coiling it up, and that worked well. Even with a bare conductor resting inside the plastic spiral, I got some useful feedback. Copper tape strips held everything together.
Coiled semi-conductive plastic
Start of a contained pressure sensor

I could toss the coiled sensor anywhere in the bowl, but it was not spherical, so it was less effective near the edges. At first, I thought the bowl-sensor combination was not working, because I had excellent results when I pressed the sensor into the bottom with my finger. Once I taped the sensor into the middle where the pressure was highest, I could create a wide range of resistance.
Copper tape in a metal bowl

I made a short video, but I am not happy with how this works. I wanted to create something unique, and while I haven't seen a pressure-sensitive APC, I am sure someone has made one. There is a MAKE: video about APCs, and the host says it would be cool to see a pressure sensing version. I still want one that can sense movement, but I may settle for one that uses touch differently.
(0:24) Operating an APC by pressure

The rest of the posts for this project have been arranged by date.
First time here?

Completed projects from year 1
Completed projects from year 2
Completed projects from year 3
Completed projects from year 4
Completed projects from year 5
Completed projects from year 6
Completed projects from year 7

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