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Ann Maloney

Ann Maloney, MD talked to us about how they are using Dance Dance Revolution to encourage kids to exercise. Here is a link to her slides. The points I got down were:

Ann wrote down some notes on things that came up in the class. Here is her list:

I have pyDance working in my office. It was a simple hack to make it work with my pad and adapter. I believe it would be easy to customize, or, at least, it will be instructive in a redesign.

On the problem is DDR to arbitrary music mentioned above. I had this illusion that DDR engines had some sophisticated means for synchronizing the steps with the music. Hah! They have 2 parameters called BPM (beats per minute) and gap. These are simply slope and intercept. In other words the music has to have a dead-steady beat or the steps will drift. That explains the preference for Techno style music.

I found a web site and paper on automatically generating steps at http://www.monket.net/wiki/dancing-monkeys. A very nice piece of work but he accepted the strict time limitation of existing DDR engines. It will make an interesting signal processing processing problem to generate steps for any music and to adapt the DDR engine to support it. Actually, I’m not sure an engine modification is required; if you can specify arbitrary times for the steps you could set the BPM to anything and generate a step file with free ranging times. This could make a nice project for someone interested in signal processing