Sian’s mooing boot

Development of the mooing boot.

In the image below, Sian is holding the boot that she developed at the workshop sessions that we held at MERL. She covered the boot with faux cow hide and wanted it to moo when touched.

Sian holding the wellington boot covered in faux cow hide that she designed. This is the original boot which was used as the basis for the mooing welly.

Sian holding the wellington boot covered in faux cow hide that she designed. This is the original boot which was used as the basis for the mooing welly.

To produce the mooing sound, we used an Arduino UNO together with a wave shield, a 3.5W mono amp and a small speaker:

Arduino UNO with waveshield and amplifier

Arduino UNO with waveshield and amplifier

To trigger the sounds with the Arduino, two contact microphones, a tilt switch and a pressure sensor were used. The two contact microphones were stuck to cardboard bases (about 10cm square), and the bases were then glued to each side of the boot – these formed the strokable areas:

Contact mics

Contact mics before attaching to cardboard bases.

Initially, we tried to construct a simple squeeze sensor using resistive plastic (Velostat) and copper fabric. However, although it worked very well when constructed as a flat sensor, the curved version that was attached to the boot was very tempremental! Subsequently, we opted for a pressure switch which works very well:

Pressure switch using to trigger a sound when the tow area of the boot is squeezed.

Pressure switch using to trigger a sound when the toe area of the boot is squeezed.

The speaker was attached to a wooden base which fitted inside the opening of the boot and secured from slipping with a thin aluminium band screw into the boot. This was later covered with fur to match the boot. The image below shows the fur being attached with contact adhesive:

Faux cow hide being attached to the speaker base

Faux cow hide being attached to the speaker base.

The Arduino sketch that triggers the sounds was written so that when the sides of the boot were stroked, the toe squeezed or the boot tilted forward, the sound would play. The sound will continue to play as long as the boot is stroked or the toe squeezed and will stop approximately 2 seconds afterwards. Email me if you would like me to send you the Arduino sketch.

Here are some images of the final boot – we will upload some video when it is tested out:

The mooing boot

The mooing boot

Below is a picture of Claudia holding the boot after attaching the faux hide – she did the nice needlework!

Claudia holding the mooing boot

Claudia holding the mooing boot

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