Research-Creation Support Material for “Designing Wearable Technology for Opera” – SSHRC PEG 2024

These are three categories of wearable electronic devices that were created to augment the performers and the performance in the 2022 operatic production R.U.R. A Torrent of Light.


Primus is a category of wearable network-controlled LED modules that are incorporated into the costumes of the robots as well as other characters. The color and animation pattern of the LEDs provide clues to the audience about the operating system version that each robot is running.

Variations of Primus were worn by the singers, dancers, as well as orchestra members.


Radius is a category of wearable containing network-controlled speakers. These speakers are affixed to the bodies of the dancers so that as they move about the stage they can influence and contribute to the landscape of sound.


Marius is a bespoke electronic musical instrument. The wearer uses a bow to activate sound with a bowing gesture. Unlike traditional bowed instruments, this bow can be dragged across any surface to produce sound.

Marius differs from the other device categories as only one unit is used on stage in the production and it is a stand-alone system — it is not network-controlled.