Arduino + Shocker + Resolume - Possible?

Hello All.

I have some basic experience with Arduino and circuitry, but I'm not sure if this project is possible. Any advice would be very welcome.

I want to create a project about pain, and I've created a video which would be projected. I would like to implement interactivity via touch sensors (basic aluminum capacitive sensor), having a few objects either out of metal or wrapped in aluminum, and connected to the Arduino. What I would also like to do is connect these same objects to a 'shocker', like the pens and lighters we all know. The most basic tutorials for that take apart a one-use analogue camera, and use the components from the flash. Lastly, I'd like to get the information when someone touches/gets shocked by these objects, and use them to control video playback in Resolume Arena, which could be as simple as sending a keystroke from the Arduino, or as complex as using OSC or MIDI translators. It might sound like a game from the Saw movies, and it kind of is, just not deadly. The point is that in order to change the video, someone will get mildly shocked, and have to be in slight pain.

Although I don't know exactly how to manage the communication between Arduino and Resolume, I'm sure that in due time I would find a tutorial.

My main question though is, if combining a shocker and capacitive sensor is plausible. My best guess is not, because I would fry the Arduino. If it is possible, do I just combine the two? Or would it help to 'isolate' the circuits (until of course someone touches them)? Or would it be better to only wire the shocker to the object, and then have the Arduino sense when the circuit is closed (person being shocked)?

My main question though is, if combining a shocker and capacitive sensor is plausible.

Yes.

My best guess is not, because I would fry the Arduino. If it is possible, do I just combine the two? Or would it help to 'isolate' the circuits (until of course someone touches them)?

Yes, of couse they have to be isolated. But if you have to ask, you probably shouldn't be messing around with dangerous voltages. And, it's common practice is that you isolate high voltages from humans too! ;)

I'm not sure what kind of help you'll get with the shocker here or on other "legitimate" websites... These things can be dangerous to someone with an un-diagnosed heart condition or to someone epilepsy, and/or simply because it's built by someone who doesn't know what they are doing.

High-voltage camera circuitry is NOT necessarily safe once it's removed from the plastic camera housing. I've seen YouTube videos of TASERS made from flash units... NOT really a great idea... Although it's probably OK to use a potentially-dangerous homemade TASER if the alternative is a firearm... If you're at the point of shooting somebody, you're not too concerned with their safety...

Of course, I'm not talking about high voltage! I am talking about a AA or 9V battery, in the range of ~300mA.

I take it that it would then logically mean to have the 'object' wired to the shocker, and the Arduino would sense when the current passes through. Perhaps a current sensor? Or a transistor? Perhaps a voltage divider?

Hi, The question was related to your shockers, what are you going to use and what voltage output?

Tom.... :)

Hi Tom,

I guess to be safe I'm going to say more than Arduino's 5V, nevertheless, again, low voltage, definitely not something that should be labeled dangerous.

Hi, what is your electronics, programming, arduino, hardware experience?

Of course, I’m not talking about high voltage! I am talking about a AA or 9V battery, in the range of ~300mA.

I take it that it would then logically mean to have the ‘object’ wired to the shocker, and the Arduino would sense when the current passes through. Perhaps a current sensor? Or a transistor? Perhaps a voltage divider?

Why are you calling it a shocker, what is the output of this “shocker”, what does it do?
You talk about pain, for whom and how, or is it an OBJECT?
Lets get our terminology sorted first?
If you are trying to shock someone with 300mA through them, STOP.

Please draw and post as jpg a diagram of how you want this project assembled.

Tom… :slight_smile:

Why not simulate the feel of a shock by using a vibration motor?

Hi Tom,

The basic idea of the circuit is attached. Something like this would probably be easiest to make. I honestly don’t want to hurt anyone, the point is to find that fine line of uncomfortable but get-overable.

Hi Chris, the idea of using a shocker is to simulate the knee-jerk (hand jerk) when touching the object, to really get across the idea of pain involved in the object, and to get the message through.

tommyjay: Hi Tom, ...

Hi Chris, the idea of using a shocker is to simulate the knee-jerk (hand jerk) when touching the object, to really get across the idea of pain involved in the object, and to get the message through.

Right - so have it go BZZZZ, & flash some LEDs and maybe a noise when you touch it. Back in the day we had hand buzzers that used this technique to make a victim jump when you shook their hand. It would create a moment of "I don't know what is happening!" type shock, rather than the dangerous voltage kind.

Cause look - a low voltage like 5 or even 12 volts isn't gonna shock, until you get the amperage up high enough to burn. Perhaps if you use nano amps at many kV like touching someone's ear after shuffling on a carpet.

Tommy,

O.K. so you've liberated your flash unit from the old disposable camera... Take a look at the values on the capacitor. See the working voltage? that should be your first red flag, but, let's go a step or two further... Disconnect the flash tube's leads, connect them to (just lay them on) a piece of aluminum foil, connect the AA battery to the circuit and watch and listen to it charge. When charged. and with the flash leads touching the foil, trigger the flash circuit.

DOES THAT LOOK SAFE TO YOU?? If so, replace the foil (what is left of it) with the first two fingers of your right hand and re-execute the experiment.

then re-think your project.

Hi 123Splat,

From what I read, almost every 'shocker' tutorial starts with removing the capacitor from the circuit.

I can't seem to stress enough how I don't want to hurt people, but apparently it keeps going back to that. When I put a 9V battery on my tongue, it's not about hurting, it's about it being unpleasant. That's the effect I'm trying to go for.

And if the specific 'shocker' circuit isn't the best option, and there's a better/easier way to deliver the same effect, I'm all ears.

I do not understand how you can charge up a 'shocker' circuit without a storage element (the capacitor). you need a fair amount of voltage to get through the skin and not much current to burn, once you get through the outer (dermal?) layer of skin. Most people here are very leary of potentially dangerous projects and really don't like things involving 'BURN'.

You may be on your own on this one.

EDIT: you may want to research multi-vibrator circuits. Back in the (really old) days, they were used to step up battery voltages to vacumn tube levels. We used similar circuits to build low level shockers for pranks.

Take this tutorial for example. Many of these simply take a one-use camera, snap off the capacitor, and solder a battery and two wires on. Simple as that, and from what I've searched there's either that, or using a transformer from an old TV set or other device.

And yes, just like most people in this forum post, many around the internet are saying to simply not do it. I'm not trying to make a bomb, I'm not trying to make kill someone, I don't even want to hurt someone. I just want to make it uncomfortable to touch. Same like if I was to say I want to make a shocker cigarette box, just to keep myself from picking it up and smoking.

This whole thing is about painful experiences, and about trying to not go back to that pain and to move on. A vibrating motor, or buzzing sound is not what I'm looking for, but again I have to stress that I am not trying to hurt anyone.

I'm also not looking for a one-off shock, like with an electric lighter. Rather a constantly uncomfortable feeling, that could last for just half a second but also 30 seconds, depending on how 'determined' the user would be.