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@lazzarello
Last active Aug 2, 2016
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What would you like to do?
awesome foundation proposal

Application website

Lee Azzarello

lee@rockingtiger.com

+13476538508

Freemg

Project web site

Tell us about your awesome project!

The Freemg project is an open source hardware electromyograph (EMG) used to measure voluntary muscle movement by placing surface electrodes on the body. The acquired signal can be sent to a small computer, like a Raspberry Pi and used as general purpose controller for sound, moving images or video games.

The project aims to provide clear, simple analog circuit drawings, PCB design, Bill of Materials and assembly tutorials. It will also provide extended software interfaces for multimedia environments like Pure Data.

The project began as a custom instrument for a performance art piece called Action Potential, created by Torino::Margolis. The prototype device was built to be used in an international tour between 2009 and 2010. It's development was documented, though it depended on a niche product with a high price tag (US $450 each, we had 6 units). The idea to develop a DIY circuit came about after we finished our last tour date at Issue Project Room in Brooklyn, NY.

The EMG technique for signal acquisition opens up new possibilities for controlling digital media. It changes the relationship the performer has with the media from a controller being "something you have" (like a synth keyboard or a game pad) into "something you are". This psychological translation creates new possibilities for creativity. For example, the Action Potential choreography was directly influenced by the dynamic sound control of the EMG instrument and the sound was influenced by the choreography. It was a creative feedback loop.

In addition to sound, I imagine new possibilities for VR worlds controlled directly by the human body, rather than via a controller paddle (like the HTC Vive). This could improve immersion into the virtual worlds by using a direct body-computer interface.

How will you use the money?

My aim is to be the steward of a clear open source project for EMG development. I will use the money to purchase electrodes, plexiglass, short run PCB services and electronic components. I would also like to buy a commercial EMG unit to study. I think the grant funds should cover the materials to get to an alpha release.

Tell us a little about yourself

Lee Azzarello is a San Francisco based software engineer, hacker and sound artist. He has shown work at Exit Art (NY), Issue Project Room (Brooklyn), Hive Gallery (LA), Piksel festival 2009 (Bergen, Norway), Paul Rogers Gallery 9W (NY). His work investigates field recordings with perceptual multi-channel installations, realtime body-computer interfaces for sound and realtime DSP of sampled speech to create new meaning. He currently works on Noisebridge Audio Research (GNAR).

https://www.flickr.com/photos/lazzarello/4091249991/in/album-72157622648682689/

What is the shortest, clearest way to describe your project?

The Freemg project is an open source hardware electromyograph (EMG) used to measure voluntary muscle movement by placing surface electrodes on the body. The acquired signal can be sent to a small computer, like a Raspberry Pi and used as general purpose controller for sound, moving images or video games.

For real though… how will this actually create more awesome?

The EMG technique for signal acquisition opens up new possibilities for controlling digital media. It changes the relationship the performer has with the media from a controller being "something you have" (like a synth keyboard or a game pad) into "something you are". This psychological translation creates new possibilities for creativity.

How did you hear of the Awesome Foundation?

A friend and colleague.

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