Adrian and Matt over at RepRap decided to give themselves a sixth sense. They rapidly prototyped a solution that provides a way to feel their surroundings. They were inspired by the FeelSpace Project which is a belt that gently vibrates in front, back or to the sides based on a smartphone navigational app.
The RepRap folks took a slightly different approach and attached ultrasonic rangefinders and cellular phone vibrators to their arms. They 3D printed cases for the distance sensors and vibrators directly on fabric to be attached to each arm. An Arduino was used to constantly scan in data from the distance sensors and directly drive the motors.
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, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, 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.
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In his book ‘Caves of Steel’, Isaac Asimov wrote about a device called – I think – a "heat wand". It was used to direct people to remove locations, usually within large office buildings or factories. If you were headed in the right direction, it would grow hot, if you were headed the wrong way, it would grow cold. This idea reminds me somewhat of Asimov’s wands.