In this post I will cover some DIY IoT fitness project ideas that you can build at home and turn your workout into a game!
Many of us plan our workouts in advance but when it comes to the crunch we tend to find it a chore and is something that just needs to be done.
After all, humans are lazy, easily distracted and it’s in our nature.
One of the best methods to overcome this problem is to gamify it!
The following list describes some of the best ideas that I’ve seen on the net so far and I will continue to find more ideas and add them here over time.
So check them out, get inspired and discover what your next project will be to get your next creativity fix!
And have fun getting fit of course.
7. Gamified MMA/Boxing Punch Bag
How about this cool idea for an IoT fitness project.
It’s possible to turn an MMA/boxing punch bag into a game by strategically placing multiple sensor/pressure pads aligned inside of the bag to use as hit targets.
Sensors would be placed around the bag in areas representing targets such as the head and body.
There are so many possibilities with this project to make it fun and interesting as well as providing you with a fitness workout.
Here is a list of possible features that this project could offer:
- Using a tablet or a TV screen for visual confirmation of where we are hitting the bag to represent a human body
- Reaction training: Computer generates a random hit sequence for you to follow along with, such as “left hook”, “right hook” then “left knee” for example. data can be collected such as your speed and accuracy
- Sound effects and sound commentary would give the feeling of a game such as “New High Score”, “You’re Slowing Down”, “Congratulations!”
- Multiple pressure sensors can be used for a single target to detect accuracy. By hitting the center sensor for example would give a 100% accuracy hit but by hitting a surrounding sensor may indicate a 75% accuracy.
A similar commercial product used for reaction training can be seen here from fitness-gaming.com to give you an idea of what it could look and feel like.
6. Arcade Style DIY Boxing Machine
We’ve all seen these boxing machines whenever we visit arcade centers and there’s no shortage of people eagerly waiting to show off their strength.
Well why wait in line just to pay each time you want to impress someone when you can build this cool little machine at home?
How about adding your own modifications such as:
- A sound system with sound effects
- Strength meters
- Competition games
With lighting in a marquee and some artwork to polish this project off you could make this look like a professional arcade setup too.
If you decide to follow along step-by-step with this example then the base microcontroller board used here is the Arduino Nano.
Although this project may not suit everyone as it may require working with steel and a welding machine in order to build a sturdy frame.
This DIY arcade style boxing machine project can be found at the Arduino Project Hub where you can discover how this guy did it.
5. IoT Pushup Counter
This pushup counter uses an infra-red proximity sensor to detect your face with every pushup.
Not only will it keep track of how many pushups you do but it will also help detect whether you achieved a valid pushup so there’s no cheating yourself in the process.
If your face isn’t close enough to trigger the sensor then you didn’t lower yourself down far enough!
The Arduino Uno microcontroller board with a WIFI shield has been utilized in this particular project along with the Firebase database.
However there are various other system designs you could implement to suit your personal needs if you wish to do so here.
Google’s Firebase is a freemium (free up to a certain limit) cloud platform tool which allows the sharing of data among devices across the internet.
This is a good option if you plan to develop a mobile app to manipulate, aggregate and analyze your personal data and maybe share with other app users too.
To follow along with this project you can check it out at Arduino Project Hub to find more on how you could build this IoT fitness counter at home.
4. Exercise Bike Powered Netflix & Other Entertainment
This IoT fitness project idea may give you the motivation to keep going by restricting your current entertainment if you’re not working out hard enough.
The maker of this project connected an exercise bike to his Netflix account where he would need to pedal the bike to play a movie.
Resting periods are common when riding an exercise bike but this project will notify you of over-resting right before it automatically suspends the entertainment.
The project uses the Arduino Nano as the base microcontroller board to measure pedal speed which the data is then sent to a laptop for further processing.
The laptop would then control the Netflix play and pause controls indicated from your personal exercising preferences that you enter into a program.
By coming to a complete stop for too long or by cycling too slow would then in-turn, pause the movie.
If you’re interested in following along with this project then you can find it here at the Arduino Project Hub.
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3. Smart Basketball Score Counter
Next up in this list of IoT fitness project ideas comes the smart basketball score counter.
I can see the irony here that we can actually gamify an already existing game but who wouldn’t want this cool workout station at home?
By placing a sensor at the basketball hoop we can detect the ball falling through it to indicate a successful shot.
A vibration sensor placed on the back board can also detect a try. And so if the ball triggers the vibration sensor but not the hoop sensor then this can indicate a miss.
Many possibilities exist here with regards to where you would like this data to go, however the designer of this project uses a mobile app to keep track of scores, shots and misses.
If you would like more information on how you can build this project at home then you can find details from the maker at the Arduino Project Hub here.
2. Interactive LED/Button Workout Project
If you’re looking for a full-body workout then this IoT fitness project idea could be right up your alley.
This could also possibly be one of the easier projects in this list to build at home and so would suit a beginner who is looking for a first project to get up and running (no pun intended).
By placing buttons with LED lights on a wall in front of you we can create a whack-a-mole type game.
Not only that but we can place a similar setup on the floor and use our feet to interact with this workout station too.
As we would be making this project rather than simply purchasing a product here we have so much more freedom with regards to features and functionality.
How about adding “Left hand”, “Right hand”, “Left foot” and “Right foot” indicators to mix things up a little?
We could also send our data to a cloud service such as Google Firebase and compete with friends via a mobile app or simply record this data for our own personal fitness goals.
Programming our own reaction training with tiered levels that get harder is also an option here.
This idea came from fitness-gaming.com who supply this equipment to businesses but of course.. we can always build this ourselves and at a fraction of the cost!
A similar project can also be found on the Arduino project hub known as the Pixercise.
1. Soccer Smart Wall
Similar to the previous project above, this IoT fitness project idea also incorporates a button-hit style board but this time it’s testing your soccer skills!
Granted that this project will need sufficient space around the home or outside for the full experience but it’s also possible to create something on a smaller scale if need be.
If you’re looking for a cool project for your kids to play with then this one could be it.
Yet another project idea from fitness-gaming.com, the soccer smart wall can be used to test your accuracy, speed, shooting and passing skills while still having fun.
Gaming features can be applied here such as another whack-a-mole style challenge or a personal score system.
Not only will this IoT project provide you with a fitness workout but will improve your skills in the process.
How about building two of these boards to create a soccer match with it’s very own digital score system.
In this list I covered some DIY IoT fitness project ideas for you to build at home and to gamify your workouts to give that full gaming experience in the process.
I don’t get much time to spend on these maker projects myself as I’m usually busy making this type of content for you but how cool are these?
Imagine a dedicated workout room in your home with DIY fitness stations wired up to score points and compete with others.
Everything we do in life shouldn’t be taken too seriously. Let’s gamify it!
If you’re interested in more IoT project idea lists like this one then check out the following posts in this series to get inspired and build your next cool project: