smileBack Project – A step by step tutorial to build your back pain saver 

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Hi and welcome on my website.

I created this page to talk you about my the smileBack Project.

It’s a back panel that has two main functions:

  1. It provides you lumbar support everywhere. This means that also it can transform every chair in a ergonomic one.
  2. It monitors your posture with sensors and it tells you when your posture is not correct
  3. It tells you when you should take a break.

SmileBack can help you and your backpain will be only an old memory, like a picture in white and black.

Let’s see why the two points that I listed are so important to prevent backpain.

I want to say that I’m not a doctor, I’m just a guy that have chronical lumbar backpain and that want to help other people with my same problem.

I talked with doctors and posturologists and apparently the causes of backpain are mostly two:

  1. We sit down for too much time with incorrect postures
  2. We don’t take any break (you should take a break from sitting down around every 20 minutes)


The code of the smileBack Project

On github you can download the last version of the Arduino sketch.

The circuit and electronic parts

Here you can find the Fritzing schematics needed to build your own smileBack.


How to build the sensors of smileBack-Project

In this video I’ll show you how to build all the sensor that we need to build a smileBack, the smart back panel for you back to prevent back pain.

For this tutorial we need:

  • Aluminium tape
  • Wires
  • Normal tape
  • Plastic sheets
  • Piezoresistive material (like Velostat or Linqstat)
  • The schematics of the sensors that you can download

Download “smileBack-sensors” – Scaricato 1 volta – 158 KB


How to build the physical back panel

In this video I’ll show you how to sew the cover of the smileback and to build the structure.

For this tutorial we need:

  • An aluminium bar like the one used as a weight for curtains
  • HDPE sheet (thickness around
  • 3d foam like the one used in back panels for backpacks (any other fabric can works too)
  • Foam like the one used in yoga mattress, thickness around 0.5cm




Who we are

Alessandro Oppo is a Milanese that would like to run away from Milan, he is into computer science but he’d like to live without a phone, he is an artisan but he’d like to automate everything, he learns something and suddenly he wants to study something else. He is a self-taught person and he likes to fight against every kind of problems until everything works as he wants, often he is good in doing it!
The motto he keeps repeating in his head is: “If they achieve it I can do it too.”
He started the smileBack project because he needed it and he carried out since he had a prototype more than functional. He dealt with the design, the physical realization and the algorithm coding.

Alessio Ciferri is 20 years old and he is studying computer science in Milan. He has chosen this field for passion and curiosity and he quickly discovered that he is good at it. When he is not cycling around the city he develops the app and the website for smileBack, loosing maybe too much time on stylesheets css.
Inside the smileBack Project, he covers the role of Head of Software Development Global Team also if he is alone (not anymore).

Work with us

We are an open group, our smart backpanel is open source and we want to share everything with you about the smileBack Project.

We need testers and developers, we need your skills, we need your contribute.

You can help us debugging the code shared on GitHub or forking it and building a different version. (We are actually working of a new version completely different)

You can help us sharing our website on your social networks, you can help us sending this website to all your frineds that have backpain and that need a smart back panel like the smileBack Project.



What is smileBack?

Smileback it’s a smart backpanel that help you to don’t have backpain anymore.

How does smileBack works?

smileBack checks your posture constantly and it gives you a feedback when your posture is wrong.
smileBack also tells you when you should take a break.

How much smileBack costs?

smileBack is free! It’s released with the MIT Open Hardware licence this means that you can build your own one following the instructions.

What about the cloud service of smileBack?

Once that you have built your own smart backpanel you can decide if connect it to the cloud using a specific key and have access to all the statistics that.

What are you doing with the statistics?

We want to study how backpain is evolving, we want to know why you have backpain and helping you to heal from it.

How can I build smileBack, the smart back panel?

There are videos that explain the entire process, soon it will be avalaible a new version that will be much more easier to build.


Alessandro è un milanese che vorrebbe scappare da Milano, è appassionato di informatica ma vorrebbe vivere senza telefono, è un artigiano eppure vorrebbe robotizzare tutto, impara una cosa e già vorrebbe studiare dell’altro. Autodidatta da sempre, gli piace sbattere la testa finché tutto non funziona come vuole lui, spesso ci riesce anche! Il motto che si ripete dentro la testa è: “Se ci sono riusciti gli altri ci posso riuscire anche io”.

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