Control Giant Fireballs With Your Mind

[Matt Oehrlein] and [Ed Platt] from the i3 Detroit hackerspace created the Mind Flame project. The project uses Electroencephalography (EEG) sensors from NeuroSky to measure the user’s concentration level. When you’re concentrating hard enough, the Mind Flame launches a giant fireball, which probably breaks your concentration pretty quickly.

Propane is accumulated in tanks, and then released past a hot surface carbide igniter. It looks like an Arduino is used to open the valve, and the result is a massive fireball controlled by your brainwaves.

The Mind Flame was demoed at the Detroit Maker Faire as a competition. Two participants face off to see who can concentrate the hardest and make the device launch three fireballs first. In the future, they want to incorporate new competitive elements. One example is placing wooden houses in the line of fire, and letting opponents try to burn down their adversary’s house before their’s is set ablaze.

You can check out an interview about the project here.

[Via Make]

Comments

  1. relet says:

    I am not impressed: What exactly is “controlled” here? If you launch a fireball as soon as one participant has eaten twenty hotdogs, there is more control involved.

  2. M4CGYV3R says:

    I still don’t think I trust an Arduino to control a safety-critical system like a pyro valve.

  3. Johnny Wise says:

    To relet: You need to try out one of the sensor based games. It actually takes quite a bit of control and practice. It is both fun and frustrating as most games are. You can actually over time train your brain to produce certain types of “output” that correspond to different types of thinking and concentration. Some therapist use the technique to treat ADD and similar issues.

  4. Johnny Wise says:

    This has some similarities to our “Omaha Maker Group” Red Bull entry. We use pretty much all different hardware, but at the core both projects are brain wave concentration competitions.

    This one uses Fire, and ours Water. Does anyone else think we should combine forces.

    A classic battle of Fire and Water where some object is either burned or saved by water using concentration.

    I would make it so that the flame and water output were always on, just the flow was regulated. So the harder you concentrate the more fire/water comes out.

    OK, must go do ‘real’ work now.

  5. Nathan CLark says:

    What piece of hardware did you use for your dead man? A pistol grip, a foot switch , or something else? Cleveland FD is requiring a dead man switch for similar displays and I am wondering what others have used for this purpose. Also how did you implement it ?

    • oehrlein49 says:

      We used a foot switch. We just wired the 120V line to the entire system through it. When the foot switch is not being pressed, the entire system gets no power at all.

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