When Rob Bishop of the Raspberry Pi Foundation visited the space yesterday, he challenged the attendees to build a project using the tiny open-source computer. I decided, why not take advantage of its small size to make myself a cyborg?
Wearable technology is my main area of hacking, so I had some parts lying around. The wearable display uses the innards of a pair of MyVu Crystal video glasses – these are tricky to disassemble, so check this tutorial. You can cut off the earbuds and one microdisplay without breaking the functionality. I bent a coat hanger into a behind-the-ear mount, electrical-taped the parts in place, and viola, monocular HUD.
The brains of the operation are, of course, a RasPi. I fitted it with a 2GB micro-SD card in the excellent Quilix pIO mini-adapter, Raspbian, a Duracell phone recharger, and a cheapo mini keyboard-trackpad combo. Apart from the video cable, the system is totally wireless! I zip-tied the RasPi to my belt and the keyboard to my wrist. Everything is wearable with zip ties!
No one brought a wi-fi dongle, so no wireless intertubes. The upside is that when I wanted to go online, I could actually jack into an Ethernet port!
I built this with parts lying around, but a similar setup would cost just over $100. Not bad for a fully-functional wearable computer, especially one with connectivity and around four hours of battery! Plus, ladies love a Pi in the Face. Maker ladies, at least.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.