A Digital Condom a Reality Thanks to Arduino


[Bill Gates]‘ foundation is currently offering up a ton of prizes for anyone who can improve the condom. It’s a laudable goal, and somewhat difficult; one of the main reasons why male condoms aren’t used as often as they should is the,  “male perspective… that condoms decrease pleasure as compared to no condom.”

While most of the work inspired by the [Gates] foundation is work investigating a change in the geometry of the condom, [Firaz Peer] and [Andrew Quitmeyer] of Georgia Tech managed to solve this problem with an Arduino.

The basic idea of the Electric Eel – yes, that’s the name – is to deliver short electric impulses, “along the underside of the shaft for increased stimulation”. These impulses are delivered in response to different sensor inputs – in the video example (surprisingly safe for work) they’re using a force resistor wrapped around the chest for an electrical stimulation with every breath.

Although this is only a prototype, the hope is the conductors in the condom can eventually be implanted along the inside surface of a condom during manufacturing.

Video after the break.

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Electrodes turn your eyelids into 3D shutter glasses

[Jonathan Post] has a way to watch 3D video without wearing shutter glasses but it might be kind of a hard product to break into the market. As you can see above, a pair of electrodes are stuck on a viewer’s eyelids, using electricity to alternately close each eye. The video after the break shows a demonstration of this technology. Obviously a camera can’t capture the image that the viewer sees, but this man describes a perfect 3D image. This reminds us of those ab exercisers that use electrodes to stimulate the muscles. Do you think a 3 hour epic would leave your eyelids tired and sore, eventually resulting and a steroid-esque muscle-ridden face?

Edit from [Caleb]: Judging from the comments, some people believe this to be an absolute impossibility. While we concur that this example is pretty silly (what’s powering those electrodes?), we invite you to watch [Daito Manabe]‘s facial electrodes fun.

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Rat propulsion via brain-machine interface

Our little red-eyed friend can drive this vehicle around with his mind. WITH HIS MIND, MAN!

This is the product of research into adaptive technologies. The process is pretty invasive, implanting neural electrodes in the motor cortex of the brain. The hope is that some day this will be a safe and reliable prospect for returning mobility to paralysis victims.

We found it interesting that the vehicle was trained to react to the rats’ movements. They were allowed to move around a test space under their own power while brain signals were monitored by the electrodes. Video tracking was used to correlate their movements with those signals, and that data is used to command the motors for what the Japanese researchers are calling RatCar.

We can see the possibilities opening up for a mechanized cockroach v. RatCar free-for-all. Something of a battlebots with a live tilt. But we kid, this is actually quite creepy.

[via Neatorama and PopSci]

Lucid dreaming

When we saw [merkz] use of an Arduino to produce lucid dreaming we were quite shocked. Unlike typical setups that just flash a light through sleep, his system monitors eye movement through electrodes and is able to send the data to a computer for graphing and analyzing.  The only problem being we couldn’t find a circuit diagram or code.

Not ones to be shot down so quickly, a Google revealed this thread on making ‘Dream Goggles’, which was really a Brain-Wave Machine based on the parallel port. Some modifications of an ECG collector’s electrodes using sound cards, and you could have your own lucid dreaming.

[Thanks Phil]

Twitter brain interface


Just in time for the influx of sedentary Oprah viewers, [Adam Wilson] built a brain interface that allows you to post Twitter messages. The electrode cap monitors the user’s brain functions to determine where they’re looking. The display slowly flashes each letter in the alphabet. The user focuses on the letter they want and when it flashes the cap can pick up the resulting impulse. It’s a long process and the average user can only do ten characters a minute i.e. 14 minutes to use all 140 characters in a Twitter post. It’s interesting research and shows how far we still need to go with neural interfaces. The researchers note that Twitter’s forced brevity levels the playing field between locked-in patients and normal users. A video of the device in use is available on the NITRO blog.

Related: KanEye tracking system

[via @johl]