International Space Twister

Global Nominee

International Space Twister received a Global Nomination.

Space Station

Find a way to adapt common gym tools for a reduced gravity environment and design a workout routine that can minimize bone and muscular loss while being fun and easy to use during a long term mission. In doing so consider constraints regarding weight (equipment should weigh less than 500kg) and dimensions. Consider incorporating virtual reality to simulate a jog through an astronaut’s favorite Earth destinations or incorporate gaming to motivate users.


The Game of Twister (Wikipedia) is great fun but also trains flexibility and coordination.

In space, astronauts can play twister in all three dimensions. Instead of the original mat, Space-Twister uses electronic, touch-sensitive modules that are fixed using suction cups. Each module contains one of the coloured circles that the players need to hit with their hands and feet.

The players place these modules around them inside the space station. Players need to wear adhesive gloves and shoes (we tested both Velcro and magnets). A micro-controller gives audio commands to the players (e.g. "Place right foot on blue!"). It also gives audible feed-back to the players when they touch and let go of a module.stop

What we built

We used the BARE Touch Board – an Arduino compatible micro-controller board with built-in capacitive touch sensors. This board is connected to the Space-Twister modules.

We have tried two different designs for the modules:

  • One using steel plates from the hardware store.
  • Another one using a sandwich of two pieces of plywood and aluminium foil.

We also tested two different approaches to building the adhesive gloves and shoes: Velcro and magnets.

Resources Used

Hardware and Parts used:

  • magnets, salvaged from computer hard disks
  • gloves
  • slippers from a local thrift store
  • Velcro strips
  • suction cups
  • steel plates, aluminium foil, plywood, glue
  • BARE Conductive Touch Board:


Made inBerlin Germany
from the minds of
How they did it