Names: Liam Clarke, Rittika Basu & Katlin Walsh
Project “Pro Yoga” blends the idea of fun and fitness for everyone. It’s a fascinating installation for exercising where both the body and the mind are engaged for physical, mental and spiritual upliftment through the art of Asanas. This interactive training set-up can be utilized by any fitness center, yoga studios and at home. The goal of this activity is to make the tri-colored sets of LEDs activate at various heights by stretching out one’s limbs towards the Ultrasonic Range Finders through different Yoga positions. The goals will be set by the verbal instructions from a yoga instructor in the prototype, while the next generation would be a virtual instructor. The activity of making the LEDs activate functions as an indicator to let the participant know they are in the correct position. For example, the instructor might ask the participant to make the blue LED (placed in front at height 5’2 ft), red LED (placed on the right side at ground level) and green LED (placed behind at height 5’2 ft) light up together. The user’s objective is to stretch out his/her arms and legs to make the specified LEDs activate, hold that pose steady for a set amount of time before the next pose.
Setting the Ultrasonic Range Finder at different heights and orientations for testing the LED’s blinking functions from various ranges of distance.
Our brainstorming of ideas started with sketching possible concepts while exploring various functions of servos and LEDs. We also discussed the various projects created by Arduino software accessible from online platforms like Pinterest, Design Boom Magazine and Arduino Project Hub, YouTube, etc.
Several ideas involved in creating a space for performing arts and divergent forms of physical activities. The first involved a dance contest, where a ‘Thumbs Signal Sticker’ could be attached to the servo. Essentially a multiplanar Dance Dance Revolution, LEDs are triggered by the distance sensor. The servo attachments can rotate the ‘Thumps-Up’ (180° – indicating a good grade) or as a ‘Thumbs-Down’ (0° – indicating a bad grade) or if the performance gets undetected it turns into a ‘Thumps in the Middle’ (90° – indicating an average grade).
Multiplanar DDR led to a ‘Body Twister Game’ where the LEDs will blink according to the movements of contestants. We planned to create groups of 2-3 and follow the rules of the original ‘Twister’ game, where contestants would get tangled through trying to activate LEDs. In this version of the game, sensors would be placed at three points around the user to create a common area where the sensors converged. Players would need to be mindful of all body parts present in order to trigger and maintain colors for a specified period of time.
Post several trials and deciding earlier ideas were lacking without a further developed interface, we worked our project into a ‘Health and Fitness System’. We decided on an interactive installation that would be enjoyable and healthy, a gamified home yoga center. In this version, a user becomes more mindful of the space in which they are occupying, allowing them to return to a meditative state while engaging in their practice. Through the use of changing colors, harnessing spiritual meditation and mindfulness of one’s body through a guided practice can be encouraged without interrupting a user’s thoughts.
Creating and Prototyping:
We further refined our brainchild into ‘Yoga-Training equipment’ where three of the Ultrasonic Range Finder -LV-MaxSonar-EZ0 would be placed in a triadic arrangement. Each section is accompanied by three LEDs of different colors, ie. Red, Blue and Green. Each one of these sections is placed at a different height, orientation and the code is calibrated differently depending on the target limb used on that particular sensor.
The idea is to activate the ‘Blinking’ functions with the aid of Yoga Postures. While calibrating within the code, we had to keep physiology and the body motions of yoga in mind as they relate to the distance sensors.
Initially, we tested the prototype by using one LED and observing how it blinks with input data from the distance sensor. Adding on more sensor/LED setups, we experimented with orientations, lengths and heights of the three sensors.
The code is relatively simple, it involves activating specific LEDs based on input data from the distance sensor. The only issue was trying to find the best-suited range from input data to make holding the pose difficult while not impossible.
Moving beyond the context of this project, the use of RGB LEDs, battery packs, and additional sensors would be investigated to create a product that is more compact, and able to be placed in a room without wires being shown. This would only require small changes to the code framework, in addition to some hardware upgrades to swap LED types.
Data Collection: Researching on Yoga and Asanas:
While selecting the yoga posture for our installation, we had to consider various factors. We shortlisted simple postures that could be carried by beginners, elderly individuals and even kids. These are enjoyable, healthy and easily integrates with our Arduino installation. They are listed below as:
- Mountain Pose/Tadasana
- Warrior 1 & 2 Pose/Virabhadrasana Pose ( Referred to in our experiment)
- Triangle Forward Pose/Trikonasana
- Raining Hands in Lotus Pose/Padmasana
Execution: An example of an experiment scenario
Step-by-Step instructions for training the participant to perform the Tadasana Asana or the Warrior Yoga Pose
- Welcome to the Pro Yoga experience.
- Kindly, step-up on the yoga mat.
- We will start by the Mountain pose/Tadasana – Standing Asana that forms the foundation of other standing Yoga poses.
- Keep breathing in and out slowly throughout the whole process.
- Bend your left leg forward, try to turn the Red LED on (its blinking function may be positioned from 700mm – 1000mm & placed at the ground level height). Here the participant is expected to bend her leg and stress on the knee in the forward position as long as the specified LED doesn’t blink.
- Stretch out your left hand, maintain the arm at your shoulder level and try to turn the Green LED on (its blinking function may be positioned from 300mm – 500mm & placed at the height of 5’2). Here the participant is expected to stretch out her left hand towards the sensor maintaining the joints at 180 degrees, as long as the specified LED doesn’t blink.
- Now, extend your right hand straight in the opposite direction, maintain the arm at your shoulder level and try to turn the Blue LED on (its blinking function may be positioned from 600mm – 800mm & placed at the height of 5’2). Here the participant is expected to stretch out her right hand towards the sensor maintaining the joints at 180 degrees, as long as the specified LED doesn’t blink.
- Finally, the participant is expected to hold the performed Yoga posture (Warrior Pose here) for 10-30 seconds and then relax before executing the next Asana/Yoga pose.
This project involves a YogAI, (Yoga Instructor)who focuses on and guiding the user through the workout. It extracts anatomical key points to detect the posture configuration and give continuous feedback on posture correction. Our project derives from this idea in the sense of having a user-guide throughout his/her training session. But Pro Yoga focuses more on easy and universal poses in addition to special focus on the stretching of the limbs along with positive reinforcement (LEDs blinking).
1.“YogAI: Smart Personal Trainer”. Arduino Project Hub, 2019 https://create.arduino.cc/projecthub/yogai/yogai-smart-personal-trainer-f53744.
2. “Change Your Meditation With Colors Spirituality”. Yogi Times, 2015 https://www.yogitimes.com/article/meditation-colors-spirituality
3. “New Energy Geographies: A Case Study of Yoga, Meditation, and Healthfulness”. Journal of Medical Humanities, 2015
4. “E-traces creates visual sensations from ballerinas” Arduino Blog, 2014
5. This project involves an LED that changes color according to the movement of one’s hand towards the four directions. We were referring to its set-up and coding for our project development.
“Motion Controlled Color Changer!“. Arduino Project Hub, 2016 https://create.arduino.cc/projecthub/gatoninja236/motion-controlled-color-changer-299217?ref=tag&ref_id=motion&offset=0
6. We referred to various images of Yoga and Asana positions for studying, comprehending and shortlisting postures that can be used in our project. We went for simple poses that could be carried by beginners, elderly individuals and even kids.
6.1 RelaxingRecord.com. Top Ten Yoga Positions For Beginners. 2019 http://www.relaxingrecords.com/2015/11/17/top-ten-yoga-positions-for-beginners/.
6.2 Fitwirr. Fitwirr 24 Yoga Poses For Beginners – Yoga Kids (Laminated Poster) – Kids Yoga Poses – Yoga Children – Yoga For Kids -Yoga Wall Arts – Yoga Poster. 2019 https://www.amazon.com/Fitwirr-Yoga-Poses-Beginners-Laminated/dp/B07C1SQK6L.
7. Puckett, Nicholas. October 4 – Videos I Creation & Computation 001. 2019 https://canvas.ocadu.ca/courses/30331/pages/october-4-videos.
8. Puckett, Nicholas. October 8 – Videos I Creation & Computation 001. 2019 https://canvas.ocadu.ca/courses/30331/pages/october-8-videos