Zane Liu
Be curious.

Creating Pec-Man

Can gamification mobilize people to be their healthiest selves?

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Fitness and Health

30 minutes a day is the magical number for long term health. It allows the body to maintain healthy muscles, a fit cardiovascular system, and a lively metabolism. Yet only 21% of adults maintain such a routine. 

Fitness is derived from a foundation built from habit, experience, and self-discipline. PEC-MAN is built on the concept of creating healthy, fun habits. A few minutes of higher intensity exercise can be exceptionally healthy for mind and body.


Wearable and Comfortable

Plyometric workouts range from push ups to squats to crunches. While these exercises were all investigated, we discovered many of the motions involved were far too dynamic to capture as game inputs.

Push ups offer a clear vertical movement that can be measured using tri-axis accelerometers. The convenience of the arm offers a localized placement that doesn't garner interference or noise from other lateral motions. No additional sensors necessary.


Data Analysis and Algorithm

To make PEC-MAN accurate and easy to use, we collected hours of user push up profile data using our accelerometer embedded prototype band.

We placed the band in numerous body positions. Chest bands proved uncomfortable for female users, and data often varied between users due to unique push up forms. A root mean squared average was later used to filter out and reduce noise.



Building PEC-MAN

The PEC-MAN prototype is built from a 3D printed body, a laser engraved lens, and an Arduino Uno. This model was designed to be both light and strong to protect the housed sensors. 

A stretchable mesh band was later added to offer adjustable, sweat-resistant comfort. Future designs would incorporate a system on a chip and bluetooth chip for added mobility and an even smaller footprint.