Current electronic fencing systems cost upwards of $500, require both fencers to wear a metal jacket and be connected to a scoring box via a wire.
What it does
We present SkySaber, an IOT fencing saber that moves the scoring logic from an externally-installed scoring box to the saber itself. The saber electronics turn the entire saber into a capacitance sensor that can detect when it hits a player o the other sword. After registering a hit, the saber uploads its data to a remote server.
How we built it
The sword uses an ESP8266 programmed in Arduino C hooked up to a capacitance sensor to perform hit registration. This hit data is uploaded to a webserver programmed in Flask and JQuery.
In order to design the capacitance sensor, we set up an RC circuit. By measuring the delay between a voltage takes to propagate across the circuit, we can measure the time constant of the system, and from that estimate the capacitance.
Challenges we ran into
It was difficult to tune the capacitance sensor to provide the precision we wanted.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
The scoring system is completely functional, and registers sword and player hits separately. Data is parsed and stored into a JSON database for easy postprocessing.
What we learned
Arduino C + Flask.
What's next for SkySaber: IOT Fencing Saber
Future work includes adding an accelerometer to record fencer motion and recording additional statistics to evaluate fencers in real-time/suggest ways they can improve.