Maker creates an installation that reacts to his Tourette’s Syndrome


One Maker built an elaborate installation comprised of plywood, plastic and Arduino that reacts to his Tourette’s Syndrome.


For many, art can be an excellent way to express themselves. Some would even say their inspiration comes from within. Putting quite the literal spin on that adage is Andrew Frueh, who has used his latest art project to share his Tourette’s Syndrome with the world. With the help of 3D printing and Arduino, the Maker has designed an interactive installation out of plywood and plastic components that reacts to his sudden movements.

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Tourette’s Syndrome is a neurological disorder characterized by repetitive, stereotyped, involuntary motions and vocalizations called tics, something that Frueh experiences all too often. This is the premise behind his project called Echo of Motionwhich explores how human gestures are recorded and translated into actions within a system, and how one’s interaction affects the behavior of that system.

“Digital technology allows us to extend our sense of self beyond the limits of our physical body and to manifest our desires virtually. But as we take position to control the interface, we execute our gestures like a puppet for the enjoyment of the system. And it is our interaction that gives the system meaning. Without our puppet input, the system is alone,” Frueh writes.

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The project consists of two parts: a person and a complex mechanical machine comprised of wood dowels, laser-cut plywood, a ball-chain, some gear motors, cables, 3D-printed parts, and various nuts and bolts. The structure is actuated by a control box lying on the floor, which contains an Arduino board and an XBee wireless radio that communicates with a corresponding Arduino-radio combination worn by the individual.

The board adorned to the chest utilizes data from four accelerometers embedded within the person’s clothing — one for each limb. As the participant stands inside the installation, his or her sudden movements are interpreted by the wearable chip and relayed to the device on the floor. This enables the machine to accurately mimic the tics.

Intrigued? Head over to the Maker’s official page here, or watch the impressive project in action below.

1 thought on “Maker creates an installation that reacts to his Tourette’s Syndrome

  1. Pingback: Maker creates an installation that reacts to his Tourette’s Syndrome - Internet of Things | Wearables | Smart Home | M2M

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