David Huang’s Ultra-Low-Cost Wearable Tension Sensor Is Built From String and Pencil Graphite

Just rub some string against a pencil lead and you too can have your own low-cost, wearable tension sensor.

Maker David Huang has shared a trick for creating a surprisingly capable tension sensor at practically zero cost — by rubbing some string over a pencil.

“Our goal is use the cheapest and the easiest way to make your own sensor for your project,” Huang explains by way of introduction. “The sensor we are making today is a tension sensor. A tension sensor will react to a pulling motion. The most common material we use for the tension sensor is conductive rubber, or weaved conductive rubber wire – but the problem is the conductive rubbers are very expensive, and they are also hard to get.”

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