A spin-off from the cochlear -thread..

I littered the thread so much that i decided a new thread was needed.

What i want to make:
Imagine a fine grid that can be implanted or used as wearable on the inner side of the lower arms. 
That mesh should be able to: 
1. Read input and be used as a mouse/keyboard.
-It would be nice if it could light up and show some interface-things, but not strictly necessary.

2. Relay feedback as in vibrations of different frequencies, with about 0.5 cm/pixel resolution, and ability to could sense IO from multiple points on the same row/column.
- Without having LOTS of wires for every row/column.

3. It needs to consume low power, as its goal would be a mesh that'd be fed power/IO through the skin. 
-A mesh of carbon nanotubes would be ideal, as it could power itself with body heat (inside of the arm is kinda a good place, as its returning colder blood there anyway..) (And the odd amusing fact that such would have the possibility to cancel inductance..)

4. It CANNOT be sensitive to magnetic inductance. Otherwise it'd cause noise and/or problems with strong magnetic fields when implanted.

Basicly, i want tips on what kinda material to use for the wearable, and/or the implanted one.
I want to use it as an interface to my weak-AI analysis rig, one that does not occupy my vision, and still allows IO in a natural/intuitive way.
It also NEEDS to not cause skin irritation when wearable, and not cause inflammation with the implanted one. 
And ofc, as thin & flexible as possible..


  • The implantable bit could be fun to tackle. The only ways I can think of that really play nice through the skin are light-based systems (Sort of), and magnetic systems.

    Take a look at Robert Murray Smith's work with the "Monotherm." Here are a couple of links to videos(Link1 Link2 Link3). It may prove to be a simpler option than nanotubes. But the power output is a bit disappointing.

    As far is the "grid". How do you want it to read data? Were you thinking about using a bunch of magnetic sensors and an implant? A light-based system? Or a technology similar to a touchscreen?

    The vibration feedback has me a bit confused. Do you want it to be able to vibrate in different locations? Like, a grid of different points that vibrate individually?
  • @TheGreyKnight, I have to say that "Monotherm" really caught my attention. I haven't watched those videos yet, but after some google-fu it seems like the term "Free Energy" is being associated with it quite often. This device seems almost too good to be true. The power output must be minimal.
  • edited November 2016
    Free energy is associated with it, but it does produce some manner of electricity, and it doesn't behave like a normal thermocell. More testing is needed. But I can safely say it does something, and it's been tested by numerous people. And murray-smith is pretty credible from what I know
  • Huh, that's pretty cool. Paging @Chironex.... This seems like something he may have worked on/ may be interested in.
  • edited December 2016
    @TheGrayKnight, first off: interesting links.
    As to the questions:
    Well, what i meant/want from the grid is an IO device that i can implant and never need to be afraid of problems with it.

    I got stuck on nanotubes because: 1. Well, they're fun & awesome.. :)  2. If configured correctly, i can make every "pixel" on the grid move and/or react to being bent (ie pushed/slided on/over by my fingers). 
    3. They're not terribad for the body afaik.. 4. The resolution would be... Much more that i need tbh.

    So yes, a grid that takes input, and can act as another sense (see the cochlear-thread) and preferably shine light through, if that'd be safe and extremely durable..

    Well, i want to test the interface first outside of my skin, and then implant if it works as intended.. 

    Basicly, you know of any material/device i could achieve that with, safely and cheaply?
  • k so you're asking for a lot in this thread. I could cut it off at the knees and say that there's a snowflakes chance in hell of making this work as described as an implant on any sort of amateur budget, but instead I'll just go down your list and see where it hits a snag.

    1. a grid that takes imput. Totally doable, technically. This is where you'll want to look at those e-tattos that are basically just a temporary tattoo with electronics mixed in. There have been some great demos showing they can take in input.

    2. relay feedback via vibrations in 0.5cm resolution. Hard no. There aren't many good ways to make things vibrate, and most of them require either a) a large amount of power and are usually b) bulky. You'd need some very clever engineering to make this bit work. Also, you're ignoring biology in that there simply aren't enough nerves in your arm for that sort of resolution. There's a reason we implant things into our hands, there's way more nerves there to pick up the vibrations. You could probably get away with a single vibration source and just run it at different frequencies or number of pulses. But it'll still be bulky and power intensive. Your only other option is some sort of electroactive polymer but they don't really move that quickly and are not that efficient. Technically nanotubes MIGHT work in their place but fabricating something like this would be extremely difficult and you'd still run into power issues as well as heating issues (things like this tend to heat up which is not ideal for an implant to say the least)

    3. there's no way any of this is gonna be low power since fundamentally you're asking for things that require lots of power. You also want to generate power from the body. This is a project in and of itself. Whether by heat, or otherwise, harvesting energy from the body is difficult and won't produce much power. I am working on several options for this, but they won't be ready for a while. As to the carbon nanotubes things, carbon nanotubes are a massive pain in the ass to work with. They're fiddely to make, almost impossible to dissolve except in 1 horribly nasty solvent (chlorosulfonic acid, explodes on contact with water to release a cloud of sulfuric acid and hydrogen chloride gas) and as such sort of require you to grow them where you need them. I'm unfamiliar with their power generation capabilities, but will be working with them extensively soon so I'll keep you posted. Maybe it's as simple as mixing them into some other material, but it's probably not. The one method of generating power with nanotubes I'm aware of uses platinum electrodes and a vertically aligned nanotubes forest grown on a special wire, and it's not very efficient, and also requires contact with bodily fluids as a glucose source.

    4. not really sure what you're asking for here. Lots of things are sensitive to magnets and electromagnetic fields, that's sort of the nature of electronics. It's why a lot of electronics have to have special shielding to protect them from various issues. If you mean it won't be attracted to a magnet, then you're implying you're using only non ferrous metal/metaloids which is gonna be difficult if you want vibration. 

    5. carbon nanotubes as they're currently produced do not do nice things to the body. Their rounded ends trick the cells into thinking they're a vesicle they can absorb. This usually ends with a cell with a nanotube sticking out of it which quickly leads to the cells being ripped open. And they can't be metabolized so they're in there for a while. There's some research looking at shearing the ends off them but then you run into issues with fabricating stuff out of them. 

    So tl:dr look into those e-tattoos and how they're made and stick to viewing this project as a wearable. It comes down to the body as a handbag problem. This could be a really interesting project as a wearable. No sense trying to overcomplicate it by trying to implant it. It would also make it much easier and cheaper to do, shifting it from impossible to viable, since implants inherently cost way more and are more difficult to produce.
  • @chironex
    A snowflake's chance in hell?
    Dammit, if it'd been impossible, i'd come up with a solution in 5 minutes. :/

    1. (!!!), I had completely missed those. Thanks! (it solves a bit of an issue for me..)

    2. Pah! Piezoelectric effects to the rescue. :) (very compact, 1 tip per 5mm is doable. But i'd rather want something more compact, hence the question.. And implantable is not something that's a MUST atm, i just like to plan ahead..
    As to sensing, afaik i have 3 groups of mechanorecptors ill trigger, so the nerve density density should be fine. (meisner,merkel & pacinian (iirc, could be wrong))

    3. Mjeh, not that much power.. As much as 2 cellphones methinks. But thats because of the bendable screen i'll have to make do with atm. Pure piezo wouldnt take even close to that much.
    Ideally it'd harvest heat, but that seems troublesome as you say.. Sofar.
    I do SO want to make & apply them tubes tho.. Ill see what i can do in half a year & better facilities.

    4. Yeah... Its a problem that i havent solved (yet).
    Basicly i seek a way to avoid having to shield from EMs.. Dunno how yet, the tatoo thing helps alot tho.

    5. Hrm.. Dammit. Ahwell, ill trust scientist to fix that by the time i've gotten the rest to work properly.

    And yes, i am on the way of creating 2 "cyber sense"-s.
    One to more intuitively sense the deeper workings of a compiler, and one to act as I/O & feedback from my AR/AI rig. (ill post pics in a month or so, it'll look silly.)
  • how about an internal Faraday cage that doubles as the touch input eg. when


    when the conductive grid comes in contact with the pad, connection made. Would need a spring like mechanism, but I think that perforated silicone may work. or a plunger shape as are on membrane keyboards. To prevent unwanted input maybe a timeout . Input code to resume? IDK rambling off the top of my head!

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