​OSC wireless wearable sensors

  • Hi,

    I have an ongoing project that is getting a bit of additional life with the programming skills of a new friend.  
    It is a wearable multi sensor unit for dancers/movement artists that delivers OSC to Isadora.
    It uses some of the latest wireless microcontroller peripherals: 

    1 x ADXL345 accelerometer 1 x ESP8266 NodeMCU 1 x LiPo 3.7v 1200mAh 

    Hardware will draw about 70mA when connected to WiFi and the expectation is a running time of a few hours.

    The project is being developed as Open Source: https://github.com/cfreeman/Da...

    We are working towards a multi sensor prototype implementation for a show mid August.

    Here is a link to a Isadora post started by Armando that explores some of what is available in this space: https://community.troikatronix...



  • Tech Staff

    very interesting!

    I'm watching the project on github now.

    I would be interested in building a unit once a how to is available.

  • Really cool project, also watching the project and can't wait what you guys create in the end :) 

  • @DusX said:

    I would be interested in building a unit once a how to is available.

     Hi Ryan,

    OK, I will let you know how we get on.



  • Tech Staff



    I'm ready to start mixing my media control ( read Isadora ) work with my costume design work.

  • Very interesting indeed! You have my attention!

  • Hi,

    We have the wireless sensors up and running. I have added a infrared LED for position/proximity tracking. 

    Still at the prototype stage but ready for use in production.
    The range has been tested with a 2.4ghz wireless router at 40 metres with no indication of degraded performance. The battery life has exceeded six hours of non-continuous use.

    There is a 'how to' here: https://reprage.com/post/Dance...

    The code for the board and Isadora patches are here: https://github.com/bonemap/Dan...

    We are using AtomIO and PlatformIO to update the code on the board using the NodeMCU's micro USB port, including the wireless settings SSID/password/port info etc. https://atom.io/http://platformio.org/

    Lots of possibilities for this unit. For example, it can be wearable (see image below), attached to a physical object (hoops, tubes, boards, trapeze, costumes etc.) to track its orientation and multiple devices can be used simultaneously with unique OSC streams for X,Y, Z movement, vibration and rotation. The IR LED has potential to provide proximity using a separate camera tracking set-up and when not occluded. A future prototype will mount the IR LED in a thimble or plectrum so that it extends to the tip of a finger and is less often occluded when the sensor unit is worn on a hand.

    Short video here... but will post with a video of the unit in production soon...


  • Tech Staff


    I will build a copy once I return from the werkstatt. Very much into this.

    Perhaps it's noted (haven't read the how to yet) what language is being used for the micro processor coding?

    Update... checked the github and see the code is c++ ☺

  • Is there a possibility of creating a similar function using this on a smartphone?  Isn't a smartphone already a wifi transmitter and has an accelerometer? 

    I'm a novice, just wondering.. 

  • @CarlMDB said:

    Isn't a smartphone already a wifi transmitter and has an accelerometer

    Hi @CarlMDB,

    Thank you for your comment. I take your point, and short answer is yes these units are an alternative to an expensive smartphone/ipod that has the same functionality. However, this is much lower cost per unit and can be used with multiple units simultaneously, is lighter, simpler, can be incorporated into props, costumes and we have the satisfaction of building something ourselves. I have 6 x prototypes of these devices for component cost of under US$20 each, not sure that I would be able to get 6 smartphones for the same price point and have as much flexibility of how they can be integrated into use. Smartphones do a lot more than these units so I am not sure that the comparison is worthwhile. I can imagine a performer wearing a bunch of smartphones and that has the potential to tell particular visual narratives. What is the visual narrative that these devices tell? I think it is a bit different if only that we have engaged in the agency of making the device ourselves.



  • "we have the satisfaction of building something ourselves"

    I completely understand this. 

    I am a member of SOPWAMTOS: "Society of People Who Actually Make Their Own Shit ".  I imagine many Isadora users are as well. 

  • @CarlMDB said:

    SOPWAMTOS: "Society of People Who Actually Make Their Own Shit ".

     Thanks for that - I love it!


  • Tech Staff

    This is very cool. Following closely! 

  • @bonemap What's the positional drift rate on these devices? Last time I checked the accelerometers were not better than about 1m per 1 minute, which really was a stopper for me.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • @eight said:

    the positional drift rate

    These accelerometers do have some drift, but I would be surprised if it is to the extreme that you have described. I have used them for extended periods (over 6 hours continuous) with negligible issues with drift, however I would not say there is no drift. They appear to be much better than the accelerometers I have been using since 2011. The way I am using them currently does not require accurate tracking of position over time or distance. I am using numerical decay and smoothing that responds to the force of directional movements, rotation and orientation of the device. These are like exaggerations of directional movement that are always trying to decay back to the raw reading of the accelerometer data. The numerical data is filtered and passed to numerous 3D player assets that flock and swarm synchronized with rotation and direction of the performers hand movements. The spatial representation of these swarms as projections tracking over physical distances is not going to be achieved with the accelerometer data. There are a couple of other options for spatial tracking, one is a camera vision system that tracks IR LEDS mounted on the device (reducing the battery duration significantly), the other is Bluetooth triangulation (there appears to be a Bluetooth beacon on the NodeMCU) however, the programming task of implementing the Bluetooth option is out of my reach. 



  • Hi,

    This crowd funded project may be of interest to anyone looking at wearable sensors: synapseWear



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