Interactive Punching Bag

If you need a sparring partner, and do not want to be dependent on finding a willing partner at any random time, then maybe this Interactive Punching Bag will be some interest to you. [Lior], having studied Karate for a while now, originally envisioned a robotic arm that would punch at you using the Texas Instruments Chronos or the Microsoft Kinect as input, though after some initial messing around he decided to scrap that plan and thought “how hard is it to place some LEDs inside a punching bag and sense some force using an Arduino?”

After about a day and a half, using parts from around the shop and a trip to radio shack, he was able to complete his goal, and left some room to expand in the future. The bag currently features 3 resistive sensors, 3 LED’s, and is using a laptop for feedback, though an LCD is on its way. The expansion room allows for 3 more sensors and LED’s for twice the action and more complex games.

Speaking of games, the punching bag currently has 3 different exercise programs, as many punches as you can in 30 seconds mode, a programmable sequence mode, and random which occasionally punches back. Join us after the break for a quick video, and check out the page for details and a pile of pictures.


6 thoughts on “Interactive Punching Bag

  1. “robotic arm that would punch at you using the Texas Instruments Chronos or the Microsoft Kinect as input”

    First thought that comes to mind – potential catastrophic injury potential.

    Second thought – done correctly, this has potential. But seriously, industrial robot arms are no joke. Especially ones with the speed you would need to “spar” with it.

  2. For the robot arm, I was not thinking of an industrial one. Just one made up of aluminium. The idea was to train on avoiding punches, but I was worried it will be too brittle. What I have instead, is a flashing light, which simulates a punch. I am working on adding a sharp IR sensor, to sense if you moved out of the way.

    Just got the LCD modules. I will post some more info on the sensor, the LCD, and videos of the whole system in action.

  3. very interested in your project as i am looking to do something like that for college. if you would not mind i would love to look at you code for the punch bag . just to get an idea of what functions you used for the sequences for your workout and just wanted to know how much force the sensors can take this would be very helpful if i can get your help

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