Physical Instinct In Microgravity


Denny S. Studio 叁 / Taipei

Denny Shieh

By Michelle Lin

In microgravity, the proprioceptive system undergoes adaptations due to the lack of constant gravitational cues [1]. Photo-video evidence and informal accounts of microgravity exposures demonstrate a shift in the quality of movements and the self-awareness of one’s body.  Utilizing a framework  inspired by ballet and freediving, we propose using fluidity as a metric to measure proprioceptive adaptation. The effects of the microgravity environment on the proprioceptive system will be validated with a wearable sensor system garment user-tested by a participant in a parabolic flight. 

The garment is a ballet long sleeve unitard from Capezio with 12 6DOF accelerometers sewn in at each joint location symmetric across both sides of the body: wrist, elbow, shoulder, ankle, knee, and hip. The garment has a chest-mounted solderable breadboard that is around 1mm in thickness. On the breadboard, there are two teensy 4.1 microcontrollers that is powered by one coin cell battery each for the Real Time Clock, and both powered by a 3.7V 2000mAh lithium ion battery that is operated by a central power switch. Each microcontroller has three I2C channels, each of which connects to two accelerometers, for the total of six sensors per microcontroller. They are interconnected via Qwiic wires, which feature universal JST connectors that plug-and-play instead of requiring solder.


Steve Boxall/ZERO-G


[1]  Rachel D. Seidler and Ajitkumar P. Mulavara. 2020. Sensorimotor Adaptation, Including SMS. Springer International Publishing, Cham. 3- 319- 10152- 1_22- 2