At the age of 17 I started to practice martial arts (Krav Maga) and always wanted to build some kind of suit that will measure and mark the hits that are being thrown in combat. So That’s what I did.. I took a martial art suit and installed FSR sensors on it. The sensors measured the hit\punch and an Arduino micro-processor analyzed how strong the hit was.
This project involves some mechanics, pressure spreading, electronics and a lot of software: firmware(embedded) and PC. Here is a short video that explains the system and shows it action:
8 FSR sensors are connected to each Arduino and around each sensor LEDs were installed.
The Arduino Fio was mounted on home made prototype board with 8 NPN, resistors, regulator, capacitors etc.. to control the LEDs and the sampling of the FSR sensors.
After detecting a hit LEDs lights around the hit zone are being lighted up in order to give the opponent that hit an immediate feedback that he managed to hit and “get points”.
A XBEE modem is connected to the Arduino, so in addition, the data about the impact is encapsulated and being sent to a third modem (one modem per each suit) which is connected to a computer with 2 projectors. The wireless RF topology is “Star” – on Master (the PC) and two Slaves (the suits)
The projectors projected a C#.NET software (that we wrote) by mirror projection so that the players won’t create a shadows and won’t get blinded from the projectors. Each player has a “health bar” which indicates how much “health” he got left.
The health bar decreased with each blow in correlation with how strong the impact was.. for example – a punch in the head worth much more than a punch in the legs. I got outstanding feedback from my fellow colleagues. I deployed the “Battle Suit” around 8PM and people played with it till 3AM.
This project was made during Israel Aerospace Industries LTD(IAI)’s Innovation camp with Limor Giat, Yelov Gev and Asher Gabay – it a similar thing to geekcon/makers faire. Few month later the project was presented in Jerusalem Makers Faire in Jerusalem’s science museum and made a lot of children feel like they are inside a one-on-one mortal combat style game.
I decided to open-source this project, uploaded the instructions and the code to github – both sides – the C# software on the PC and firmware on the Arduino micro-processor inside the suits. It also includes the communication protocol that I designed between the suits and the PC.