Category Archives: Makers

MIT Developing a Device Can Hear Your Inner Voice #WednesdayWearables


via Wearable Technologies

Dubbed “AlterEgo,” the device resembles a jawbone hooked around the ear and attached to the user’s face between lip and chin. AlterEgo Uses a bone conduction system to hear and respond to the wearer’s internal voice via electrodes attached to the skin.

The device will efficiently fuse human and machine together, according to Arnav Kapur, who led the development team at MIT’s Media Lab. Electrodes pick up subtle neuromuscular signals that are triggered when a person verbalizes internally.

When a user says words inside their head, artificial intelligence working within the device can match particular signals to particular words, feeding them into a computer. The computer in return responds via the device using a bone conduction speaker that plays sound into the ear without the need for an earphone to be inserted. The idea is to create a seemingly silent computer interface that only the AlterEgo wearer can hear and speak to.

“We basically can’t live without our cellphones, our digital devices. But at the moment, the use of those devices is very disruptive,” said Pattie Maes, a professor of media arts and sciences at MIT. “If I want to look something up that’s relevant to a conversation I’m having, I have to find my phone and type in the passcode and open an app and type in some search keyword, and the whole thing requires that I completely shift attention from my environment and the people that I’m with to the phone itself.”

In a trial conducted on 10 people, AlterEgo managed an average of 92% transcription accuracy with about 15 minutes of customizing to each person. That pulls the device several percentage points below the 95% plus accuracy of Google’s voice transcription service. The human threshold for voice word accuracy is thought to be around 95%. Kapur said the system will improve in accuracy over time.

See and learn more!


via Adafruit

In Development: A Wearable That Could Prevent Drug Users From Overdosing #WearableWednesday


via Wearable Technologies

A Vancouver, British Columbia startup is developing a device that drug users can wear on their wrist or finger to prevent drug overdose.

Around 28 people a week died of drug overdose in British Columbia last year, bringing the total to 1,448. The first three months of this year saw that number rise past 30 deaths a week, 91 per cent of them indoors and alone.

Gordon Casey and biomedical engineer Sampath Satti decided to do something about this unnatural deaths so they planned to invent a system that could help drug users from overdosing. Casey poured $50,000 of his earnings into this tech startup aimed at saving lives in the opioid crisis.

“What if there was a local alert system that, when someone is using and an overdose episode occurs, we look at the physiological changes that happen in the human body and elicit a local response?” Casey told StarMetro in an interview.

A team of engineers led by Satti are developing software for the device that is essentially a pulse monitor. With the software the device will be able to calculate users’ breathing rate based on very slight variations in their pulse. If the device detects a slow pattern of breathing it will send an alert, as slowed breathing is one of the first symptoms of an overdose.

“Heart rate does slow down eventually,” Satti said, “but by then it’s too late.”

Once a suspected overdose is detected, the device would alert either health authorities or a network of volunteers to rush to the person’s side and administer Nalaxone, an antidote used to block the effects of opioids, especially in overdose.

Learn more!


Flora breadboard is Every Wednesday is Wearable Wednesday here at Adafruit! We’re bringing you the blinkiest, most fashionable, innovative, and useful wearables from around the web and in our own original projects featuring our wearable Arduino-compatible platform, FLORA. Be sure to post up your wearables projects in the forums or send us a link and you might be featured here on Wearable Wednesday!


via Adafruit

An elastic fiber filled with electrodes could revolutionize smart clothes #WearableWednesday


Via Innovation in Textiles:

EPFL scientists have found a fast and simple way to make super-elastic, multi-material, high-performance fibres, which have already been used as sensors on robotic fingers and in clothing. This method opens the door to new kinds of smart textiles and medical implants, according to the team of scientists.

“It’s a whole new way of thinking about sensors,” they say. “The tiny fibres developed at EPFL are made of elastomer and can incorporate materials like electrodes and nanocomposite polymers. The fibres can detect even the slightest pressure and strain and can withstand deformation of close to 500% before recovering their initial shape. All that makes them perfect for applications in smart clothing and prostheses, and for creating artificial nerves for robots.”

Read more and check out EPFL on YouTube.


Flora breadboard is Every Wednesday is Wearable Wednesday here at Adafruit! We’re bringing you the blinkiest, most fashionable, innovative, and useful wearables from around the web and in our own original projects featuring our wearable Arduino-compatible platform, FLORA. Be sure to post up your wearables projects in the forums or send us a link and you might be featured here on Wearable Wednesday!


via Adafruit

How to Auto-reset Beagle Bone Black Ethernet


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Sometimes the Ethernet port on a Beagle Bone Black does not work on power up. There is a design issue in the BBB that causes the Ethernet PHY chip to sometimes power up in an undefined state where it can not make a valid link. Currently, the only fix is either a physical reset button press or a power cycle. But what if you don’t want to do that or you don’t have access to the BBB in question? Well, lucky for you josh.com wrote up a great guide on a reliable software method to detect what state the board is in on power-up.

They write:

Install this package on your BBB and it will always have a working Ethernet port when it powers up – although it might take a couple of minutes and a few automatic power cycles.

The fix relies on an undocumented bit in a status register – if this bit is 1, the Ethernet connection is not working, 0 when it is OK. Sneaky but… it works!

bbb bit

Read the full story on josh.com.

Have you ever found a sneaky fix for a hardware issue, maybe an undocumented register or command? Post in the comments to share the glory!


via Adafruit

UPDATED PRODUCT – USB Powered Speakers


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UPDATED PRODUCT – USB Powered Speakers


As of June 19, 2018, we have new version of these speakers which are slightly larger and have a wider frequency range.

Add some extra boom to your audio project with these powered loudspeakers. We sampled half a dozen different models to find ones with a good frequency response, so you’ll get quality audio output for music playback. Simply connect the standard 3.5mm stereo plug into your Raspberry Pi model B or B+, Wave shield, etc. There’s even a volume control wheel on it so you can set it up just right.

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For power, plug the USB connector into anything that can provide USB power. If you keep the volume about half-way (which is still really loud), the current draw is 200-400mA. At max volume, you can end up with up to 1 A peak draw. If a computer is not available, one of our 5V 1A wall adapters will work well and if you want to power from a battery pack, you can use a USB A to 2.1mm adapter if you don’t want to cut the cord.

1363 quarter 02 ORIG 2018 06

In stock and shipping now!


via Adafruit

Brooklyn Students to Link Up with NASA Astronauts on Space Station


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Via NASA

Students from Brooklyn, New York,will have the opportunity to talk with astronauts on the International Space Station this week as part of NASA’s Year of Education on Station. The 20-minute, Earth-to-space call will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

NASA Expedition 56 astronauts Ricky Arnold and Drew Feustel will connect with the Brooklyn students at 9:25 a.m. EDT Thursday, June 21. They’ll answer questions about life aboard the space station, NASA’s deep space exploration plans and conducting science in space.

The Dag Hammarskjold School, or Public School 254, serves nearly 800 students from pre-kindergarten to fifth grade from a variety of cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds.Media interested in attending should contact Miranda Barbotat mbarbot2@schools.nyc.gov or 212-374-5141. The event will take place at PS 254, The Dag Hammarskjold School, 1801 Ave. Y, Brooklyn.

Linking teachers directly to astronauts aboard the space station provides unique, authentic experiences designed to enhance student learning, performance and interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). These in-flight education downlinks are an integral component of NASA’s Year of Education on Station, which provides extensive space station-related resources and opportunities to students and educators. Astronauts living in space on the orbiting laboratory communicate with NASA’s Mission Control Center on Earth 24 hours a day through the Space Network’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellites (TDRS).

In addition to the student event, all six space station crew members will gather to recognize the 50th anniversary of the U.N. Conference on Exploration and the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space at 3:15 p.m. Wednesday, June 20. The astronauts will connect with participants at an anniversary event on Earth in Vienna, Austria. The interactive portion of the event will air live on NASA TV and the agency’s website.

Follow the astronauts on social media at: https://www.twitter.com/NASA_astronauts/
See videos and lesson plans highlighting research on the International Space Station at: https://www.nasa.gov/stemonstation/


via Adafruit

Instagram Experiments by Javier Perez #ArtTuesday


Javier Perez 07

Via Faithistorment

Whimsical illustrations using found objects by Ecuador-based graphic designer Javier Perez. This ongoing project, which he started in 2013, combines two-dimensional drawings with three-dimensional objects to create amusing images which Perez publishes on his Instagram. The minimal illustrations invite us to explore our imagination and creativity from a different perspective.

See more!


via Adafruit