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Motion Moderator

Learning to dance is a kinetic experience that can be enhanced through strengthening the connection between teachers, students, and dance partners. This project seeks to increase communication by collecting movement information and displaying it immediately through input and output devices in shoes and clothing. This playful feedback re-imagines the process of dance practice and education.

The systems (1) detects dancers' steps using pressure sensors (2) displays step timing and partner synchronization through LEDs (3) identifies the style of dance based on step patterns. Soft fabric pressure sensors placed in the shoes detect step timing of each individual. This information is displayed through two sets of lights--one set that lights up on each step and another set that varies in intensity to reflect the synchonization of the dancer's steps (e.g. the proportion of time during which the dance partners' steps align). Once a sufficient number of data points are collected, an autocorrelation procedure in R identifies the style of dance and a python script reports this back to the user. Dance identification is robust to changes in song speed and dancer. Code, schematics, and fabrication details can be found here and here.

This project began as a final project of the How to Make Almost Anything course. Most features are demonstrated in the videoes and further iterations are in process.