Haptic subdermals with interchangable sensors

I have a project I'd like to do.  It has a lot in common with the southpaw project.  I'm hoping I can describe this well enough.  What I'd like is going to be very similar to the haptic radar found here:

I'd like to make 12 subdermal haptic implants (see picture) which would simply vibrate when the conditions are right.  Each implant would correspond to a certain direction (12 o'clock, 9 o'clock, etc.).  I'd like the sensors to be external devices that send messages to my implants.  This way, when my 4 o'clock sensor detects a collision point, it sends a signal to my 4 o'clock buzzer (for lack of a better word).

I'd like to be able to play with a wide range of sensors and have them communicate with the implants.  For example, maybe I had an X-ray sensor that I wore one day, then a thermal sensor the next, etc.  It might also be cool to program the sensors with different pulse signals so I could make sense of multiple devices.  Am I making any sense?  How can I do this?


  • How much processing do you want to be internal? If you don't mind the majority being external, might I suggest wiring an actuator to a photovoltaic cell (colour specific if such a thing is possible), and have your sensors simply shine a laser at the apropriate region of skin?
  • This would be a lot easier using transdermals.

    A laser seems quite complex for such a simple system. How about the transmission system used by RFID tags? The tags are tiny and would fit on individual subdermals.
    You could wear a simple transmitter over the area they are implanted.
  • @DirectorX, SixEcho: an RFID-alike interface would do the job fine, if enough power was available for output; probably meaning neuroelectrodes, in this case. Probable; we'll know more as Southpaw progress is made.
    Subdermal magnets actuated by coils on the skin surface would also be doable (to the point that I'm not sure very much would be learned), and would mean no power worries and a good deal of finesse possible in the output.
  • edited February 2011
    Subdermal magnets sounds like a very clean way to do this.

    Where exactly were you thinking of putting these implants?
    Were you thinking of a single series of implant in one place, or several implants or clusters of implants? For example I can see the benefit of having implants in you hands responding to one sensor, while implants in you neck responds to another. (haptic feedback when object moves closer behind you?)

    You could place a small device on the skin directly over the implant, this device could either both active the implant and contain the sensor, or just be a activator, in turn receiving signals form a sensor.
    I am not sure how small you can get a wireless system for this kind of project, but a nice way would be to fasten small activator devices over each implants, either with some sort of adhesive or using a piercing-type hold, or just putting it in a simple armband or something.  You could then have a programmable device somewhere else providing the inputs for the activators.

    Of course you could also simply make the implant active, and able to receive direct input, though this would demand more maintenance and would probably increase implant size. 

    The more implants involved, the more attractive it seems to use Unqualified's idea of subdermal magnets + external coil actuators.
  • imagehttp://s1093.photobucket.com/albums/i438/megalorich/?action=view&current=HAPTICSUBDERMALS.gif

    Alright, can someone send me a tutorial on posting photos?  I can't get it working.

    @AxiomaticBadger: I want all of the processing to be external.  The implants are just there to relay a signal.

    @Unqualified: How do you feel about those kinetic gyro devices for recharging (as found in many watches)?

    @Shiprat: The idea was for multiple implants.  I made a picture with locations.

  • http://www.brickhousesecurity.com/sh-055dv.html
    Both of these might work if you don't mind a huge bulge. 
    but what i was looking for was these

    these could be useful. Doubt i'd want to use the lights though...
    1) Distance from source may be small
    2) frequency??? so different ones could respond at different times
    3)Bio-proof (sugru) but that leads to a new problem
    4)device/nerve interface?
  • @ nemogrinds I don't know much about this sort of thing, but I think the dimensions of the receiving antenna has some bearing on what frequency it detects. Someone with a better radio knowledge should chip in here.
    As for problem 4, you might be able to have electrodes protrude from the sugru casing, so long as they were made of something inert and the seal was very tight.

    @Unqualified The area might not be sensitive enough for neodymium implants to work.
  • @nemogrinds:The first detector would be dead easy; feed the earpiece signal to a coil to drive an output under your skin.
    @DirectorX: I've never played with them. First test would be to tape one to the implant site with something to measure generated power attached and wear it for as long and typical a time as possible.
    @SixEcho: more power, drive an implanted solenoid? You'd definitely feel that... ",)
  • I was thinking a micro vibrator might work just as well.  This way I could encase it completely.  I'm looking through all of these ideas.  I'm really not tech savvy so it is taking me a while.  Thanks for the help here.
  • In the locations that you want the haptic radar, wouldn't it be nye-useless if you put a shirt on? I highly recommend speaking with ThomasEgi, if you can get on irc #biohack channel.
  • What do you mean by micro-vibrators? Most anything that moves needs quite a lot of power, and has a certain minimum size. A solenoid is about the smallest device that exploits coil properties to produce motion.
  • @Ffaway: These are different from the sensors themselves.  Imagine 12 sensors arranged on, lets say, a belt.  Those sensors would then relay signals to the implants and cause them to go off.
  • BenBen
    edited February 2011
    typical ultrasound can also pass soft objects (a tshirt) quite easily, for what I know.
    I'd have concerns about a jacket/backpack and stuff like that...

    But these subdermals would be great for testing purposes. I thought about simply an antenna connected to an open end of a wire. Maybe two open ends on either end of the antenna, but that is imho just a technical detail. The length and shape of the antenna determin the frequency it reacts to. An external coil submits whatever signal you want, so you could change the sensors externally and have some sort of a pseudo transdermal device. Great for testing stuff before implanting it, or you don't have to implant it any more.

    Edit: oh, and yeah, that would be basically the technology of rfid
  • edited February 2011
    I like the ambition of this project. It also has the benefit that you can continue to upgrade functionality with new code without having to do any more operations. Hell, you could even make it both vibrate north as well as give proximity alerts at the same time! whether the brain could decipher it would be very interesting.

    Now, to business. @DirectorX, I disagree with the places where you are putting the buzzers. They work fine on the diagram you used but if you put them onto a more detailed one there are a few problems. 
    Human Anatomy - Male Muscles Royalty Free Stock Photo
    The implant in the middle of the back would be crushed between the shoulder blades if you shrugged or lifted a heavy weight. 
    The two implantation areas on the join between the pectoral and deltoid muscles as well as the two in the center of the deltoids are at areas where two muscles join. The contortion and grinding of these muscles during use could well either force the implant to be trapped beneath them or remove the sugru bioproofing. Which would suck. 
    As @Ben suggested, if you wore a backpack it would put pressure on at least 2 of the implants and rub on them for the entire time you walk. 

    Implants on the torso would look pretty cool (especially if arranged in a chevron) but from the point of view of making this work I think it would be better to array the buzzers around the waist, which has none of these problems. Also, it would make a belt which activated the buzzers through radio less power consuming (less distance). What do you think?
  • I see your point.  Are you thinking of the belt line or the waistline?  The belt line might get too much friction from my belt.  I have been told that abdominal tissues are not the easiest to deal with for subdermal implants, but I haven't verified that. 

    I might be able to modify the original locations enough to avoid skeletal interference.  I would likely have to reduce the number of implants though.  Tomorrow I will have my wife tape a bunch of coins to me so I can experiment with different configurations.  I'll try a modified version of the first configuration as well as the waist and belt line.
  • edited February 2011
    Sounds like a great plan to test out what areas are best. Good luck with it.
    I was thinking slightly above (3-6 cm) where you hitch your belt so it doesn't rub. Abdominal tissues not good for subdermals? Do they get lost in the fat of rounder individuals or something? It might be worth seeing how much the tape hurts when you take it off for the various areas. It should give you an idea of how many nerve ending there are in those positions. Or just an idea of how hairy you are lol :).
  • When we last discussed abdominal implants @DirectorX, it was in relation to quite a large implant. Monkeying around in one's abdomen is not recommended for very good reasons (*cough*peritonitis*cough*), but sticking to strictly subdermal would *probably* be okay.

    It shouldn't necessary, though; you could implant them in a line down your thigh, and so long as the nerve sensitivity is high enough, and it would likely be fine. Input from your sensors shouldn't need to conform to the sensors' positions; neuroplasticity is a wonderful thing. ",)
    (These weasel words brought to you courtesy of the fact that the only research I know of to back this up is the "seeing-eye tongue").
  • Shouldn't be. Fuxache.
  • The skin on your abdomen is a lot softer and more elastic than the skin elsewhere, so the implants would probably migrate more. Also, if you bend, the implants might move completely away from the transmitters and hence not work.

    @Unqualified is right as always, go thigh. It's a *lot* more sensitive and they won't move around as much.
  • I'm thinking the thigh might be a better option (thanks @unqualified)

    Yesterday I taped coins around my waist and also around my chest/back.  I managed to place the coins in spots where I still had full range of motion.  I have concerns about putting something against my spine.  The thought of a scalpel near my kidneys also scares the shit out of me.  I think my next step is to build some prototypes and then belt them to certain areas.  I'm still doing research on components.  The RFID thing looks like it might be the easiest.
  • This project has taken some strange turns and is not as simple as I thought it might be.  It may be morphing into something more....interesting.  I might make another thread for a sub-project.

    I have concerns on what might happen in the event that a battery is compromised.  Will a silicon membrane be able to withstand battery acid?
  • you have to be careful with silicones and acid. long-term stability is a problem with quite a number of silicones. dunno if there are some which are totaly resistant.

    i'd also recommend to go with the externally powered approach (rfid like). so you don't need batteries. only use batteries if there is no other choice since it's quite difficult to operate a battery in a way it'll survive many many years.
  • I think batteries are the real challenge for most grinds, I think until there are new developments (which there will be, and soon) in terms of the subdermal battery, there are significant limits to what can be done without taking completely batshit stupid risks. You guys can do what you like but I have no intention of sticking a household battery under my skin  because 1) your body is going to rust that shit up so fast if it's not coated 2) even if it's coated there's the chance of the silicone dissolving (or breaking, or any other number of things) which I believe we saw with some of the early magnet implants and 3) for arguments sake lets say implantation is not a problem, even if the battery is not always on it will run out which means you're going to have to cut yourself open and change the battery on a regular basis if you want the thing to work.

    I've tried to do some research to find any cases of subdermal batteries but have found nothing that any of us (presumably) would have access to without breaking the bank. Pacemakers, which run on batteries, last 7-8 years then must be replaced, I haven't looked into them but I assume that the standard battery alone would be out of most of our price ranges. Even if it's not the difference in energy use between a pacemaker and whatever we use it for would surely shorten the battery lifespan, which would bring me, more or less, back to point 3.

    While I was looking into subdermal batteries, I came across this article http://www.physorg.com/news122819670.html the device it describes can turn oxygen and glucose into energy, once the price tag on this type of device drops (which is of course going to take some time) I say let's start busting out the scalpels. This technology will be readily available in the future, you'll probably be able to get it at radio shack or something, and when this happens I see interest in subdermals EXPLODING.

    But, in the mean time if we you do intend to move along and use standard batteries, what about adapting something like this battery charging grid? http://www.duracell.com/en-US/category/mygrid.jspx That could remove the need for constant self surgery to replace the battery. I haven't looked into all the details of how it works and it very well might interfere with the grind itself making it useless or just be impractical from an engineering standpoint, but it's a thought.

    Sorry to be such a buzz kill or whatever, I hope I'm wrong about this and you guys have the solution, this is just the pessimist in me speaking. I do wish you luck though, and be safe, or at least relatively so.
  • that mygrid thing is called "inductive charging". if you go with batteries (rechargeable ones) that'd be _the_ way to go. we already discussed that in the southpaw thread.
    propper battery protection circuits are a must-have. depending on the power-demand of the device it can operate quite long between recharges (ranging from a couple of hours for continous gps tracking up to month for something less demanding). properly charged batteries wont leak or explode. and given the body's quite good temperature regulation they would can last many many years given reasonable load by the device.
    of course, coating is a must-have. i'd recommend medical-grade silicone. altho the coating wont be able to permanently hold back a broken/leaked/exploded batttery...but the battery wont mess up if properly wired. and if it still does.. it wont matter if there is a coating or not.
  • I've heard of that glucose battery (technically, it's a fuel cell) before.  I tried to build a similar type of fuel cell once, and it didn't work (though I now know a lot more about electronics).
  • Do you think capacitors hooked up to a bleeder resistor could be used as a substitute battery?
  • caps hold a lot less charge and usualy are a lot bigger. and any kind of resistor will only do bad. caps are ok to provide power for a very short amount of time. like seconds to minutes , depending on the device.
    caps are mostly useful when you need a lot of power in a short period of time, something you do not want in a subdermal device.
  • Have you ever had a gnat fly up your nose and start buzzing it's little
    wings?  It is a very noticeable and obnoxious sensation produced by such
    a tiny little bug.  What really sucks is when you can't get the bastard
    out.  You frantically rub your nose trying to kill it.  The buzzing
    stops and you think you have killed it.  Then the gnat starts buzzing
    like crazy again, sending you into a fit of rage.  Those things can go
    on for hours too.  How much energy can a gnat possibly store?  Anyone
    else ever have that happen to them?
  • rechargeable AA battery 1.2V*2,5Ah*60mins*60seconds=10.8kJ weights about 25g

    1gramm fat = 37kJ 

    per weight,nature is roughly 100 times more efficient.  
    thats why a human can go 7 days without food, while a humanoid robot only makes a few hours.
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