Upside Down Labs' BioAmp EXG Pill Offers Easy ECG, EMG, EOG, and EEG Biosensing for Microcontrollers

Open-hardware BioAmp EMG Pill gets a redesign, broader sensor support, and a crowdfunding campaign for mass production.

Gareth Halfacree
3 years agoSensors

Upside Down Labs has turned to crowdfunding for production of an open-hardware amplification board designed for a range of biosensing applications — and taking up a minimum of project space.

Upside Down Labs unveiled its Bioamp EMG Pill six months ago, offering an easy way to boost the signals from electromyography (EMG) sensors —which read electrical impulse in muscles — to a voltage that can be read by the analog to digital converters (ADCs) in any microcontroller.

Now, it's back with a refined design — and this time it's offering support for a wide variety of sensor types in a single gadget: the BioAmp EXG Pill.

Upside Down Labs is back with a new amplifier for biosensing projects: The BioAmp EXG Pill. (📹: Upside Down Labs)

"BioAmp EXG Pill is a small, powerful Analog Front End (AFE) biopotential signal-acquisition board that can be paired with any 5V microcontroller unit (MCU) that has an analog-to-digital converter (ADC)," the company explains. "It also works with a dedicated 5V ADC like the Texas Instruments ADS1115."

Where the original BioAmp EMG Pill focused exclusively on electromyography, this new variant supports a range of sensors: The EMG of its predecessor, electrocardiogram (ECG), electrooculography (EOG), and electroencephalogram (EEG) — offering support for muscle, heart, eye, and brain monitoring.

The compact board offers the option to solder pin headers for ease of writing, while castellations allow it to act as a surface-mount module in custom PCB projects — an increasingly common design choice.

"Its small size allows easy integration into mobile and space-constrained projects, and its powerful noise rejection makes it usable even when the device is close to the AC mains supply," Upside Down Labs claims. "Any 1.5 mm diameter wire can be used as a strain-relieving electrode cable, making BioAmp EXG Pill very cost-effective in comparison to other options."

The company is funding production of the BioAmp EXG Pill via Crowd Supply, where physical rewards start at $69 for a pair of boards, 15 gel electrodes, four each of straight and angled pin headers, six alligator clips, and two 1.5mm electrode cables.

Shipping is expected to take place in February next year, and the design files and source code have been published to GitHub under the permissive MIT and CERN Open Hardware licenses respectively.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire:
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