BITalino: A Low Cost DIY Bio-Signal Sensor Kit

Biosensor kit for research mobile app

A new low cost Bio-sensor kit BITalino has been announced that seeks to ease the process of creating bio-signal based prototypes. BITalino is essentially a simplified system for researchers, students, app makers and hardware hackers, which makes capturing and utilizing bio-signals extremely easy and efficient.

BITalino comes with the following sensors:

  • – Electrodermal Activity or EDA Sensor to measure skin moisture/activity levels
  • – Electromyography or EMG sensor to track muscle activation
  • – LUX light sensor to monitor ambient light or to track blood volume pulse data
  • – Accelerometer to track limb movements
  • – And an Electrocardiogram or ECG to track heart rate or stress levels

These sensors can either work alone or in combination to monitor multiple physiological responses. Priced at $200 (€149) and being sold since mid-August, the BITalino kit is the being designed and produced by Portugal based PLUX – Wireless Biosignals and Instituto de Telecomunicações. Requests for additional sensors such as a temperature sensor can also be made with a slight increase in cost.  Also included are Bluetooth, an LED block, a power management block and a microcontroller unit. The cost includes the hardware unit along with the APIs and software framework. Its closest competitor is the Libellium e-Health sensor platform that costs a good $500 and lacks many sensors that BITalino comes with.

The kit is also designed to work in combination with a computing platform such as Raspberry Pi or Arduino derivatives. Potential uses include creating physical tracking prototypes, wirelessly monitoring plants, test custom sensor designs, embedding it into clothing to monitor multiple variables, tracking limbs to control drones and RC copters, rapid prototyping of student projects, etc. In laboratories the kit can be used to wirelessly monitor lab animals or even monitor moisture levels in incubators. Apart from monitoring bio-signals, the kit has also been reported to be used to interface with lasers and other physical computing projects. The kit can be ordered from the BITalino website.

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