In this post we’ll build a DIY device to transform a Japanese Katana into a smart fitness device. Say what? Stay with me… the first part of this post will address the why for doing this, while the second part focuses on the how.
What if one could take a practice sword and retrofit it with sensors to track the quality of motion? And what if one could build a mobile application to analyze that data in realtime? While we’re seeing rapid advancements in AI — a Siri-like trainer is still some time away. And we’re even further away from replacing a human Sensei. However, since science fiction has a way of becoming science fact, it isn’t difficult for one to imagine a Jedi knight training sword, complete with holographic Sensei.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
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Neat! I think there’s some interesting opportunities there for wearables, and maybe motion capture as well, for those arts that don’t practice with weapons.
I think you’re spot on Matt, the motion data capture market is very broad. This project goes to show two components, hooked together along with a phone can do much of what Hollywood did with $100,000+ capture systems not long ago.