The Hackaday Prize has had a few medical devices make the semifinalist cut, and of course wearables are on the list. How about implantables? That’s what Bionic Yourself 2.0 (or B10N1C) is doing with an implantable microcontroller, battery, and sensor system.
The hardware in B10N1C includes a electromyography sensor for measuring muscle activity, an accelerometer, a vibration motor, RFID reader/writer, temperature sensor, and – get this – a LED bar graph that will shine a light through the skin. That’s something we’ve never seen before, and if you’re becoming a cyborg, it’s a nice feature to have.
As with anything you would implant in your body, safety is a prime consideration for Bionic.the Lithium battery can be overcharged (yes, through a wireless charging setup) to 10V without a risk of fire or explosion, can be hit with a hammer, and can even be punctured. The enclosure is medical grade silicone, the contacts are medical grade stainless steel, and there’s a humidity sensor inside that will radio a message saying its time to remove the device if the moisture level in the enclosure increases.
Because the device is implanted under the skin, being able to recharge and update the code without a physical connection is the name of the game. There’s a coil for wireless charging, and a lot of work is going into over the air firmware updating. It’s an astonishing project, and while most people probably won’t opt for a cyborg implant, it will look really cool.
The project featured in this post is a quarterfinalist in The Hackaday Prize.
[Dave] loved his iPod nano so much that he implanted 4 magnets in his arm to hold it.
Ok, go ahead and shout “fanboy” at your screen and say something snide about apples products or lament the poor working conditions at foxconn. Got it out of your system? Cool.
Actually, if we had to guess, [Dave] really isn’t doing this all for his love of the device or the company. It is much more likely that he is just really into body modding and this was a convenient theme for a mod. We find the idea pretty interesting. We’ve seen implants before, but they are usually of the RFID type. Typically those are used for some kind of security or computer control.
Implanting a magnet, however, is interesting because it could almost give you a “sixth sense” You could detect what was magnetic, and how magnetic it was. If we were going to do something like this, we would probably go fully sub-dermal though to help avoid infection.
What other kind of implants could you realistically do with today’s technology to give yourself other senses?
[Jair2K4] is using his unique RFID tag address as an online password. We’d bet that if you went far enough to get an implant in your hand you’d continually search for a reason to use it. Wanting to do more than just start his car with a wave of the hand, he built an interface module out of an Arduino and a Parallax RFID reader. Using a program called AAC Keys on Windows 7 he emulates a keyboard using the input from the Arduino. When it comes time to login he types his username and parks the cursor in the password box. By holding the RFID implant next the reader, the ID is dumped as the password, along with a newline (might be a carriage return, we’re not certain) character which submits the login. Take a look for yourself after the break.
On the one hand, nobody will be able to steal his tag as easily as they could steal one that is on a key ring. But we know RFID is rather notorious for a false sense of security. As long as you’re not using it for state secrets we think it’s a nice solution.
Update: After reading the comments on this feature, [Jair2K4] made some changes to his code. It now reads the tag and verifies it with stored data, then spits out whatever password you wish (making it easy to change passwords from time-to-time). He also added servo control to the sketch.
Continue reading “Embedded RFID for online passwords”
Earlier this year we were amazed when University of California researchers controlled a beetle via electrical implants. The video available at the time of the original report showed beetles tethered in place while electrical stimuli was applied via the chip. New video of free flight is has now been posted. Although the motion is rather sporadic, it is obvious that simple commands to start flight, stop flight, and turn left or right are having their intended effect. Check out this cyborg action after the break. Is DARPA one step closer to unleashing legions of insect warriors on unsuspecting masses? Continue reading “Radio controlled beetle flight footage”
Engadget recently posted a story about a flexible tactile display that can be wrapped around any part of the body and give haptic feedback to the user. The research team from Korea’s Sungkyunkwan University that developed the device are focusing on applications like Braille for the visually impaired or transmitting tactile data to a remote user, but this is just the beginning; the applications for wearable haptic feedback are wide open.
Continue reading “Wearable haptic devices bestow sixth senses”