This Arduino-based wearable pet isn't just a fashion accessory. It's purpose is to give the wearer instant feedback about their emotional state. But first you need to hack your own biofeedback monitor.
The Arduino blog recently invited us to meet Ref, a wearable pet originally created some years ago while studying at the Design Academy Eindhoven, Netherlands by Jens Dyvik.
Its goal is to assist you in improving your emotional skills by mirroring your state of excitement through its behaviour. By sensing your heartbeat, Ref will respond through non-verbal communication. For example, if Ref detects that you are stressed, it will raise its head and tail, otherwise, when you get relaxed Ref will curl up its tail and lower its head. It achieves this with the help of six servomotors and an Arduino.
Now DyvikDesign has produced a skeleton/casing for the prototype for people who wants to experiment with making their own version of Ref.
It is exactly the same model as I used for developing my own prototype, so it is meant to work with an external control box with a microcontroller, servos and biofeedback device. So you would have to make/hack your own biofeedback device to add live feedback.
D-I-Y is often therapeutic, although the idea of hacking a biofeedback device might seem counter-intuitive to this, so if you are looking for a project, consider creating your own wearable monitor while making a fashion statement.