Want to practice Kinesutra? Here’s how to build it!

Here are some instructions on getting your own haptic choreography system up and running.

Parts List

  • Arduino Mega (we use the mega verses other Arduinos like the UNO, because it has more GPIO pins)
  • Arduino Bluetooth antenna, WIFI shield, or long USB cable
  • Computer running Processing 1.5+
  • Microsoft Kinect or ASUS XTion Pro sensor
  • Two rows of header pins and a piece of protoboard to make connection strips to attach the motors to the Arduino
  • 20 cell phone vibration motors We used these ones, however there are lots of different types available
  • 20 LEDs (we use one of these for each joint, next to the vibration motor)
  • Lots of very fine gauge wire (maybe 30 gauge?) The finer the better because it will make movement in your suit more comfortable
  • ~3 yards of 1-2 inch wide elastic stripping (for the arm bands)
  • 2 inch wide nylon webbing, or something with which you can make a chest harness which the Arduino can be attached to
  • Lots of flare — it’s definitely recommended to make a haptic suit that feels fabulous on top of being functional

Build the suit

  • Cut all the lengths of wire for the vibration motors. The thing to remember here is that there will be a number of different lengths of wire to go to the different joints of the body. See the joint list below and use a string or the wire itself to size a length that will reach from the Arduino on the chest to each joint without being so tight as to constrain movement. Each motor will need two wires, so cut the lengths in pairs. Furthermore, since all of the joints (except the neck, torso and head) are symmetric across the body, you can do half of the body and just cut an extra pair for the other side.
  • Solder each pair of wires onto a motor and LED (See image)
  • Solder each motor to the protoboard, connecting the positive wire to a header pin and the negative wire to a shared ground (add image here)
  • Sew bands of elastic under which the motors will sit (add image here)
  • Create a chest harness and attach the Arduino (add image here)
  • Plug it in!

Get the code running

  • Download the *SimpleOpenNI & ControlP5* processing libraries (place them in the ‘libraries’ directory in your sketchbook folder)
  • Restart the Processing environment (this makes sure the libraries will be recognized)
  • Plug in a Kinect or Asus Xtion sensor
  • Capture a reference pose using the ‘r’ key on the keyboard
  • Have your dancer don the haptic suit
  • Get buzzed!
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It’s shiny, it moves, it vibrates!


How can we circumvent the tedious years of dance school and instantly move like Swayze? Kinesutra!

We use a kinect-based motion capture system to model the movements of a choreographer. Then, the dance student dons a vibrational haptic suit and attempts to recapitulate those moves. If she deviates from the choreographed poses, the suit sends a message to her limbs via vibration, allowing her to correct her stance!


Ready for showtime!

Putting it togetherAssembling the Jeanborg


Building the suit

Shiny suit constructed in a matter of hours

Sewing the suit

Whatcha need

Stuff needed to build an automatic choreography machine


Group choreography

Kinesutra @ Science Hackday Nov 3-4, 2012 from christina c. on Vimeo.

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