Prime Cuts: Body Movin’

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Motion capture goes a bit ‘Tony Stark’ with the new Motive Pro suit

Cambridge Industrial Design recently completed work on Motive Pro – a Motion capture suit for a small start-up company.

The brief was to design a body movement sensor system for sound generation comprising a control hub along with 16 sensor nodes attached to the body using neoprene/nylon straps.

The design involves a set of ‘nodes’ attached to the body via neoprene straps and a control ‘hub’ mounted on the chest (think IronMan!). The ‘hub’ feeds the positional data wirelessly back to a computer. The exciting thing is that this product is intended for a whole host of uses from music production to dance and maybe even computer games.


16 sensor nodes were built into each full system

With the main challenge being how to mount the sensors on the body and make them stay there, Cambridge Industrial Design built the suit in three parts:

1. Control Hub:
On/Off switch
Data connectors (type to be specified)
Multi-coloured LED

Battery enclosure to house 3 – AA cells
Internal PCB to include one movement sensor node
Mini-USB socket for data
Snap together construction or use of screws
Belt clip option

2. Movement Sensor Node:
Sixteen nodes per system
To house sensor PCB, allowing for two sockets
Two cable strain relief features
Enclosure to provide a smooth surface for use against skin
Snap together construction
PCB to be protected from user interference

3. Body straps:
The five elements that make up a system are –
Elbow / Knee strap
Foot / Hand strap
Chest strap (may contain Control Hub or additional belt)
Head strap

All require integrated adjustment, cable management and sensor node attachment feature.

Designed on a Dell T7400 running a Quadro FX3700 graphics card, the team built the suit in SolidWorks 2010, using Photoview 360 for the Tron-esque renders.

Other design tools used in the process included SLA and Vac casting for the sensor node casings.

Housing the sensors, the build was designed to snap together

Cambridge Industrial Design

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