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E3K: An ESP32-powered Bio-sensing Platform by WallySci

Reporting from Shanghai, China
May 28, 2021

E3K is based on ESP32-DevKitC and is an affordable, open-source, all-in-one, bio-sensing platform built by WallySci.

WallySci is a team of IIT alumni committed to fostering an environment for hands-on exploration at the interface of computer science, robotics, and bioengineering. E3K is an ESP32-powered device that is especially designed for students and researchers. The E3K project aims at providing an affordable, fully open-source, wireless framework for an intuitive understanding of bio-signals originated from the human heart, muscles, and brain. The platform consists of the following modules:

    • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth LE-enabled Data Communication and Processing Unit (DCPU);
    • Electromyography (EMG) sensor for recording muscle movements;
    • Electrocardiography (ECG) sensor for recording heart signals;
    • Electroencephalography (EEG) sensor for recording brain activity;
    • 9-DoF Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) for detecting motion.

Furthermore, E3K is designed to help anyone working with bio-signal acquisition right out-of-the-box, while also allowing for complete customization.

Software

The E3K Graphical User Interface (GUI) allows you to configure each channel, and collect data without having to write any code for this. But for advanced users, it can be programmed by using either Arduino IDE or ESP-IDF. The WallySci team is currently developing Arduino libraries and Python APIs so that anyone can integrate the E3K platform into their own projects.

Hardware

Modularity naturally allows you to configure E3K into the bio-signal acquisition tool that you need. Use the modules you need, in the configuration you need them. Or you can add your own modules!

E3K supports widely used communication protocols, such as UART, I²C, and SPI, while also providing 10 GPIO pins, 6 analog pins, and 2 DACs. This way you can easily develop your own hardware directly on top of the system. All the ports in E3K are based on Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) connectors which are pre-soldered on the boards. There is no need to worry about uncommon or proprietary equipment. A couple of pushbuttons and LEDs are also provided for feedback.

For additional ease-of-use, the power management system in the DCPU allows a dual mode of operation, either via USB power or a battery, in addition to supporting battery charging. The power source can even be changed while in use, seamlessly switching from battery to USB power and vice-versa.

E3K Hardware

Practical Bio-sensing in Education and Research

E3K may prove very useful to students and researchers working on biological projects. Using the E3K interactive Graphical User Interface (GUI), students can instantly visualize the signals and analyze them more efficiently. Additionally, using the E3K open-source data acquisition software, researchers can collect and process their data with ease. The supreme Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) and affordable price will enable them to build their own unique solution. E3K is a great solution for anyone working on their next healthcare or wearable device.

To learn all the details about E3K, you can check out the official website of WalliSci.

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