The IMU board is built into the pendulum body. The pendulum body is a 10-inch plastic ball. Since the IMU uses wireless communication to transmit data to the host, it only needs VCC and GND lines to operate. I used a GX-16 4 pin connector on the top of the pendulum and epoxied the connector inside a ball bearing to give it rotation freedom. The 4 pin connector is connected to a slip ring whose other side is connected to the IMU board. For now, I am using STM32F411CE (AKA BlackPill) to handle the processing but may migrate to Teensy 4.0 at some point.
Host/ Master Device
The host uses a Teensy 4.0 to process the input data received form the NRF network, process user input and UI. The three potentiometers control the intensity of each axis or the constant values used for some of the modes
There are 5 modes of output that are currently active:
- Gravity: outputs continues motion of the pendulum as MIDI control signal and CV voltage
- Gravity+: outputs continues motion of the pendulum only in + direction (absolute value of motion) as MIDI control signal and CV voltage
- P2T: peek to trough, this mode will output trigger signals to MIDI and CV. It triggers when the pendulum is at the right position set with the three potentiometers for X, Y and Z directions
- P2P: Same as P2T but this mode only triggers once in every swing
- T2T: The reverse of P2P. So basically triggers when pendulum is lower than the set value and stays on for longer
- DIFF: triggers rapidly based on the change in motion. The change constant is set with the three potentiometers.
Mode change is done by holding the push button down for a short period of time.
The screen shows the real-time movement of the pendulum in the set axis, the potentiometer values and splash screen :)
At this moment, the host device only supports one pendulum with a bi-directional NRF network. Therefore, it is possible to just add more IMU boards and track more Pendulums in the future. The data from each IMU is identified using the RF24NetworkHeader object and each pendulum's unique address. For P2T, P2P and T2T modes, a mode change signal is sent to the IMU board to reset, and change the mode of the BNO085 sensor. The host also sends a reset signal to all of the pendulums upon booting so they are all synced with the host's initial settings.
The host device supports USB MIDI alongside with the CV outputs. This was possible thanks to Teensy 4.0 and its amazing MIDI support. However, I had to mod the Teensy to use the USB lines without connecting a physical connector to the Teensy. To rout the USB lines to the back of the device, I soldered two magnet wires on D+ and D- pads behind the USB port and pushed through one of the holes to the bottom side of the Teensy. Then, simply disconnected the USB host pads from their original tracks and soldered the two magnet wires to them. Two pogo pins were used to insure good connection between the pads and the board.
In the following video, I will demonstrate the Gravity, Gravity+ and DIFF modes connected with USB MIDI to Ableton Live.
If you like the project, you can support or help with the development! Simply clone/fork the repo and commit!