Kindle terminal with secret key-press activation

[Luigi Rizzo] has been working on some hacks for his 3rd generation Kindle. There is already a Python based terminal emulator called AjaxTerm but he wanted a lightweight standalone so he reimplemented the program in C. The 100k binary monitors the keyboard, launching the terminal emulator when it detects a Shift-T sequence. It also uses alternative key mapping to fill in for some of the keys the Kindle’s keyboard is missing.

We haven’t seen a whole lot of Kindle hacking since it was hacked to run Ubuntu. Seems like this terminal emulator is a useful and unobtrusive hack to try out on the beloved reader.

Bluetooth temperature module

Wanting to know the outside temperature, [Jamie Maloway] built his own temperature sensor that can be read with a Bluetooth device. Let’s take a tour of the hardware above from right to left. There’s a linear voltage regulator with two filtering caps and a terminal block to attach a 9V battery or other power source. Next there’s an 8 MHz crystal and it’s capacitors, followed by a programming header on top and a 1-wire temperature IC, the DS18B20 we’re all familiar with hanging off the bottom. These both connect to the 8-pin PIC 12F675 that drives the system, and transmits using a Bluetooth module from Sure Electronics. Since this is using a serial protocol and transmitting ASCII data, it can be read using an automated script, or simply by using a terminal program.

Now, who’s going to be the first to get rid of the battery and leech off of the mains through inductance?

Segfault: balancing transport using a dozen op-amps

The Segfault is a balancing transport similar to a Segway, but it uses analog comparators instead of digital circuitry. On board you’ll find no less than twelve LMC6484 op amps. They take signals from the gyroscope and the accelerometer, balance and filter them, then drive the motor h-bridges accordingly.

[Charles], the guy behind the Segfault, is also the one responsible for DeathBlades. As with that project he does just as well at documenting as he does at fabrication. Take some time to enjoy his posts associated with this two-wheeled-wonder (especially the build process) and then watch in the video after the break.

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EEG the Locomotion

The use of brainwaves as control parameters for electronic systems is becoming quite widespread. The types of signals that we have access to are still quite primitive compared to what we might aspire to in our cyberpunk fantasies, but they’re a step in the right direction.

A very tempting aspect of accessing brain signals is that it can be used to circumvent physical limitations. [Jerkey] demonstrates this with his DIY brain-controlled electric wheelchair that can move people who wouldn’t otherwise have the capacity to operate joystick controls. The approach is direct, using a laptop to marshall EEG data which is passed to an arduino that simulates joystick operations for the control board of the wheelchair. From experience we know that it can be difficult to control EEGs off-the-bat, and [Jerky]‘s warnings at the beginning of the instructable about having a spotter with their finger on the “off” switch should well be followed. Maybe some automated collision avoidance would be useful to include.

We’ve covered voice-operated wheelchairs before, and we’d like to know how the two types of control would stack up against one another. EEGs are more immediate than speech, but we imagine that they’re harder to control.

It would be interesting albeit somewhat trivial to see an extension of [Jerkey]‘s technique as a way to control an ROV like Oberon, although depending on the faculties of the operator the speech control could be difficult (would that make it more convincing as an alien robot diplomat?).