is a European Community funded project within the i3 programme of technology
i3 is the European long-term research
initiative to develop intelligent information interfaces. The second (and current)
programme, entitled Experimental School Environments (ESE), explores new child-centred
paradigms for learning, through novel IT-based devices, artefacts and environments.
The focus is on the 4-8 year age range.
purpose of CARESS has been to create technological
and educational tools that will motivate and empower children to develop creativity,
imagination and expression, through interactive acoustic environments. The technological
hub of the project has been the Soundbeam,
a British invention that converts physical gesture into sound. A number of new
interfaces were developed by the Bristol partners in England. These include
two types of wearable sensor (to complement Soundbeam's own spatial sensor)
and sound transformation software and hardware, to make the control of sound
more intuitive, interactive and exploratory.
The new devices have been introduced
to special and mainstream schools in England and Sweden. Through a programme
of Action Research these interfaces have been trialled, refined and evaluated.
Working closely with children and their teachers possibilities for curriculum
development were devised and trialled alongside the refinement of the new interfaces.
- Muscle Sensor
- The EMG (Electromyograph) sensor
detects muscular activity through pads placed on the skin. In addition to
detecting gross movements, they are sensitive enough to pick up the intention
to move, where the muscle contraction is not sufficient to generate movement.
This provides children with special needs with additional means of expression
and communication, leading to the development of physical and cognitive skills.
the muscle sensor in use
- Wireless Joint-angle Sensor
- The OFG (Optical Fibre Goniometer)
is an angle sensor constructed from a short segment of optical fibre, that
can detect the movement across joints such as the elbow or knee, from the
amount of bend in the fibre. Combined with a wireless communications link,
this becomes particularly valuable for use in mainstream schools, because
it will provide freedom of movement, unobstructed by wires, so that the technology
enables, not hinders, the process of learning to express.
the bend sensor in use
- Fluid Sound Control
- The MIDI signals generated from
the sensors are, by default, a set of notes on a scale, which rise and fall
in pitch according to the movements. Using digital signal processing, the
pitch can be made continuous, so that changes are fluid. Not only pitch is
controllable, but also reverb, flanging, granulation or any other property
that you want to control. This is made possible by configuring the SoundBeam
to work with a programmable soft-synth. It enables work with a vast palette
of sounds (including live sound) and straightforward intuitive control of
out more and download the software
- The Lambert School, Stratford-upon-Avon,
- The school caters for children
in the age range 2-19 years and has been involved in the development of the
Sound Therapy approach from the very beginnings. CARESS
works with children with profound multiple learning disabilities (PMLD) and
severe learning difficulties (SLD). The involvement of teachers, classroom
assistants and physiotherapists and speech therapists has ensured continuity
of learning and support for the work of the CARESS
- Beaudesert St. Mary's R.C.
Primary School, Henley-in-Arden, UK
- St. Mary's is a small community
primary school with around 65 children on roll. CARESS
has been working with children aged 4-8 years on a range of projects. These
include classroom based curriculum work and after school activities. Teaching
staff contribute significantly to the research programme and are invited to
explore new ways of learning with the technology that CARESS
has brought into the school.
- Tusenskönan, Landskrona,
- Tusenskönan (lit. thousand
petals) is a Montessori-based school with 120 children from 4-11 years of
age. The classes are mixed-age and the curriculum centres on 'creative learning'.
Children in the 6-8 age range are actively involved in the CARESS
- Särskolan, Landskrona,
- Special Needs school for people
in the 7-21 age range, with a range of disabilities. Here, two 8 year old
girls with PMLD have been selected to work with the CARESS
project. The research programme involves physiotherapists, occupational therapists
and educational assistants.
- Co-ordinating and Educational
Phil Ellis and Lisa Percy at the School of Arts, Design and Media, University
of Sunderland, UK
- Educational Partner
Hasselblad at Emaljskolan, Landskrona, Sweden
- Technological Partner
Nishan Canagarajah and Dr Paul Masri at the Digital Music Research Group,
University of Bristol, UK
Phil Ellis is the co-ordinator of the CARESS project.
Click here for contact details.
If you wish to give us feedback about
this web-site (just the CARESS-related pages),
the webmaster is Dr Paul Masri. Send him an email at Paul.Masri@bristol.ac.uk.
The CARESS web-site was launched on Friday, 5th March 1999.
Latest update 30th June 2000.
Legal Information: All contents of this site, including text, images, audio
and video remain the copyright (©1999,2000) of the CARESS partners. None
of the content may be reproduced in any format without the express written permission
of the authors.