O-some is an interactive stand alone electronic instrument. It is soft to touch and playful. You can: squish it, throw it, shake it, wave it, … and play with it as you would with a big bouncy ball. Since it was developed as a part of the project Arduino Disability Orchestra, it is now being beta-tested by Lorenzo, who has movement limited to the upper-part of his body. O-some, though, can be very easily scaled for an able-bodied person and can be programmed as a self-standing controller which can communicate with any Bluetooth device.

In order to make the music start you have to squish it, then, upon release, you can modulate the sound moving the ball through 3D space. The ball, thanks to a neural network, will learn some specific and personal gestures, so you can map a specific sound filter to one movement.

It’s 3D printed with a soft rubber filament and a plastic ring in the middle to protect the electronic components. It contains an IMUduino, which has a Bluetooth Smart, and a flex sensor manufactured with Velostat.

In the team my tasks were to design the appearance of the ball and to prototype it. I searched for all the materials and tested various kinds of casting, modelling and 3D printing filaments. I also carried out the benchmark for the electronic components, eventually opting for the IMUduino.

Moreover I programmed an interface on Processing and Arduino to visualise all the data coming from the various sensors on the early stage. I am curating the musical synthesis using PureData: the sounds are generated through subtractive synthesis.