Release Your Stress with This Punchable Device

Work stress got you tense? Release that tension with Erika Choe's Adafruit-powered One Minute Punch Break device.

Cameron Coward
20 days agoFitness / Gaming / Displays / Sensors

If you've ever struggled with your anger, then someone has probably recommended that you go punch a pillow. The idea is that you'll release your stress and anger onto an inanimate object instead of those around you. Most psychologists will tell you that this is a bad idea, because you're training yourself to deal with anger through physical violence, but it sure is satisfying. The problem with a pillow is that it doesn't provide metrics. We all know that every activity is better with statistics, which is why Erika Choe built this One Minute Punch Break device.

Using One Minute Punch Break is intuitive and simple. When you're feeling stressed, just walk up to the wall-mounted device. Push the big arcade button to begin the one minute countdown and then start punching. Every punch that lands on the device's broad surface will add to your count. A string of LEDs looping around the device's perimeter will light up in sequence to provide a visual indication of the time remaining on the countdown. When your minute is up, you can look to see how many punches you unleashed.

If this device intrigues you, you can build one yourself with a handful of off-the-shelf components. Choe's design calls for two development boards: an Adafruit Gemma M0 and a Feather HUZZAH ESP8266. You could combine their functions in a single board, though. An AT42QT1070 capacitive touch sensor breakout detects the punches. A string of 60 Adafruit NeoPixel individually-addressable RGB LEDs handle the countdown visualization and a backlit four-digit seven-segment display shows your punch count. The electronic circuits are simple and Choe's tutorial focuses on the physical construction of the device, which is plywood, balsa foam, "armor foam," and vinyl fabric.

We don't know if a One Minute Punch Break is a healthy expression of stress or not, but it looks fun either way.

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