Animate Punching Bag

This project is intended to explore what happens when an inanimate object that’s usually physically abused is given a voice and personality. A pressure sensor and accelerometer are installed in a standard punching bag and connected to a computer, which registers when and how the bag is touched or hit. To provoke and respond to these interactions, the bag is accompanied by speakers and possibly a visual display, as well as a camera to detect the presence of a person.

A standard run of the bag will go something like this: A person enters the room and is seen by the camera. The bag greets the person and invites them to touch it. If the person touches the bag, it responds positively – but if the person punches the bag (since that is, after all, what punching bags are for) the bag will get offended or hurt.  The person would hopefully stop punching the bag. Although, this brings up the question – of what use is a punching bag that doesn’t want to be punched? A masochistic personality might be an interesting alternative – how would you feel about a punching bag that enjoys overmuch getting punched?

It would be especially interesting to install the project in a location such as a gym in place of an actual punching bag, and see how it affects an athlete’s exercise routine.

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