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  • Gabriela T. Richard

Organized the Fall 2014 StitchFest at PennApps, one of the largest collegiate hackathons

This year, I lead the organizing team for StitchFest. StitchFest ( is a special subhackathon within PennApps, largely considered the largest and premiere collegiate hackathon, with a focus on the Lilypad Arduino to make hardware, wearable and electronic textile hacks. This year’s theme was “Stitch & Assist” with a focus on assistive technologies, though hacks could be creative with the theme. Participants used the Lilypad Arduino, various sensors, conductive materials and fabric, and actuators to design, build and hack over 24-48 continuous hours from Friday evening, Sept 12th through Sunday morning, Sept 14th. Many hardware vendors, including Intel (which gave away samples of their new Edison module on an Arduino board) offered additional hardware to PennApps participants to hack with, so some projects integrated the Lilypad with the Arduino, Edison, and other sensors and modules. Winning projects included a special pad that could be added onto a bike helmet to aid riders in signaling right, left or stop, a shirt that could alert wearers to injury integrated with specially modified force sensors, a wearable kit for mountain climbers that would alert them when a fellow climber was in trouble as well as control a shoulder mounted camera, and a garment that could control computers and household devices. Further projects included a necklace that would visually respond to music and could be worn at a concert or festival.

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