DIY medical science is fun stuff. One can ferret out many of the electrical signals that make the body run with surprisingly accessible components and simple builds. While the medical community predictably dwells on the healthcare uses of such information, the hacker is free to do whatever he or she wants.
A good first start is to look at the relatively strong electrical signals coming off of the heart and other muscles. [Bernd Porr] has put together a simple bioamplifier circuit, and his students have made a series of videos explaining its use that’s well worth your time if you are interested in these things.
The electrically inclined among you are likely to want to start with the “from design to measurement” playlist, which details the construction of the amplifier itself. But the real goodies are hidden in the “EEG essentials: how to measure it and its artefacts” list; getting the signals is only the first step — interpreting them is where it gets interesting. For instance, a lot of what are sold as “mind control” devices these days is much more likely to be simply muscle-controlled, and this video shows you why: small signals buried under bigger ones. (Embedded below).
We’re no strangers to the tricks you can play with biosignals. The MobilECG project folks gave a great talk at Hackaday’s Belgrade 2015 conference, and made this sweet ECG business card as a demo. OpenHardwareExG is a more-sophisticated version of the bioamplifier presented here. And straying from the heart, we’ve seen a slew of “mind-controlled” applications.
But the point of the original post here is that making a bioamp need not be bank-breaking or brain-taxing. It’s the kind of thing that you can do simply on a weekend if you’ve already got the parts. What would you control with your body’s own electrical signals?
Thanks [nic] for the great tip!