Ethersense

Project Type: 
Hardware

The EtherSense is a high-resolution, high-speed, robust, cost-effective and versatile tool aimed at making sensor acquisition for gesture analysis easier and designed by IRCAM newly formed Performing Arts Technology Research Team.

Able to digitize simultaneously up to 32 16-bit channels at a rate of 500 Hz (1kHz if only 16 used), it brings new opportunities for the integration of motion sensing technology in performance arts and interactive works.

With its built-in Ethernet controller, the EtherSense is perfect for computer-based musical control. It transfers digitized sensor signals on Ethernet through Open Sound Control protocol.

Transport Type: 
UDP
Features: 
High Speed (> 100 hz packet rate)

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Additionnal Information about the Ethersense

The URL to consider about this project are :
Ircam ForumNet
Ethersense Project Page
My Developement Blog

Ethersense was developped to have the benefit of a sensor "platform" in our lab. OSC and network handling are separated from the data digitizing, they run on different boards and communicate thru a data bus using query and answer simple protocol. Daughter boards declare themselves at the boot so that the motherboard (network & OSC) knows the format of the outcoming data.
AtoMIC Pro, our previous digitizer was in its end-of-life so we also decided to make a commercial digitizer with the platform, which actually known as the Ethersense. It is composed of one motherboard and two 16-input 16-bit digitizer daughterboards. Using all 32 inputs at the same time lead to an overall 500 Hz samplerate, or 1kHz for 16 inputs only.

Ethersense early design was implementing a really basic OSC schema :
/EthersenseXX/CardYY [16 int list]
where XX is the software ID of the device, and YY the daughterboard card number (2 of them in the Ethersense, but up to 16 possible on the data bus)

Conversely, incoming OSC data can be forwarded to /EthersenseXX/CardYY : the motherboard does not have to handle any protocol of the daughterboard, data is just sent to the apropriate destination, and is decoded locally. It is therefore really straightforward to make a daughterboard that controls relays or outputs PWM controlled by OSC parameters.

The Ethersense is configured (IP, UDP port, various settings) using the on-board LCD and joystick, but since IP settings can lead to chicken'n egg situations, we also added some OSC broadcast configuration and notification.
/Who
looks in broadcast (255.255.255.255) for Ethersense hardware on the network, and found hardware answers
/EthersenseXX [IP] [Port]
which is an handshake protocol really close to bonjour service notification

Emmanuel Fléty - Hardware Engineer
IRCAM
http://recherche.ircam.fr/equipes/temps-reel/movement/flety/