I have followed the work of the brilliant indie hardware engineer, Sarah Petkus, for years. Her first projects to capture my attention were her delta robot army and NoodleFeet (see her YouTube feed for project videos). Sarah is an extremely talented engineer and artist whose design and fabrication skills are undeniably impressive. With her high-tech engineering skills, her unique and sincere presence, and her overall deep-geek badassery, Sarah wouldn't be out of place in a Gibson cyberpunk novel.
Her latest project is courageous. Called She Bon, it is a series of body-borne devices designed to sense and express female arousal. As Sarah has openly discussed in her videos, she has struggled with her sexuality and how she wishes to embody and express it. She Bon is her bold "coming out."
The She Bon system's heart is a backpack, called the "Pulse Pack," that controls the various She Bon sub-systems. These include Propeller Pasties, activated as the wearer's nipples are aroused, the Beat Box, soundwave-vibrating "panties" that respond to the wearer's heart rate, and Hot Spot, a butt-winching system for creating that coveted(?) thigh gap. POP Girl is the name Sarah has given to the wrist-borne user interface and status indicator for everything that's going on throughout the She Bon system.
"I believe that all of this technology that we are creating for ourselves, as hackers and makers, can also be used to add another layer of self-expression and individuality to everyday life," says Sarah. "What I am hoping to achieve is encouraging a healthier, more approachable dialog about sex among humans. And I'm hoping to achieve this using technology...and engineering."
You can view the entire She Bon project playlist here.