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Today I combined Jimmie Rogers’ Open Heart kit with a LilyPad Arduino board to make a light-up, animating LED heart brooch. I used conductive thread to attach the two together like a sandwich, and put a safety pin on the power supply. I dangled the brooch from the power supply with embroidery floss and the power/ground wires. The programming pins are still easily accessible for changing the animations. Oh, I also made an instructable for putting together your own.

Becky Stern

Becky Stern is head of wearable electronics at Adafruit Industries. Her personal site:



  1. Anonymous says:

    It would be interesting if you hook up a lilypad arduino to some sort of biometric reader which can detect your pulse. Then, you could program the open heart kit to flash with the beating of your heart.

    1. Vanessa Carpenter says:

      “Then, you could program the open heart kit to flash with the beating of your heart.”

      I like this brooch idea – we did something similar but did hook up heart rate to visually broadcast one’s pulse.

      We made a heart rate necklace:

      and a Biometric Social Interaction System:

      In the Biometric Social Interaction System, people could interact based on their heart rate, galvanic skin response and gaze direction.

  2. ben says:

    i’m more interested in her shirt! anyone know where one could acquire such a shirt?

  3. Becky Stern says:

    @Anonymous: yes! excellent idea!

    @Ben: It was a limited edition Parsons Design & Technology shirt from undergrad. We made one every year, but there aren’t any more of this one, sorry. My favorite one is “word to your motherboard.”

  4. Gareth Branwyn says:

    Cool project, Becky!

    Re: T-shirt
    I assume the first crossed-out phrase was: “sex, drugs & rock and roll.” What was the first word in the second phrase? Please tell me the designer did the right thing and kept sex :-)

  5. Becky Stern says:

    The first line is “sex, drugs, & rock and roll” with just “drugs & rock and roll” struck out, and the second line is just “design & technology” which was the name of the department. So yes, Gar. =]

  6. Patti Schiendelman says:

    Someone needs to make “Is that an arduino in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?” shirt.

  7. JacqueChadall says:

    All these comments and no one’s mentioned how hot Becky is? I’m surprised the solder was able to hold together ;-D!!!!


  8. Joebob says:

    Becky sure has my heart thumping!