Low-tech approach



  • Why does the shape of it is not convenient? I suposse it would be because it has to be flat so it could work (maybe im just saying stupid shit sorry if thats the case) but it thats the case why not implant it on the shoulder? It would be flat on all times. 

    Anyways, at the moment I cant think of a different way to accomplish this experiment, I will think of something and if I come up with a workable solution I will put it right here
  • You are not saying anything stupid.  Quite the contrary, you're sparking conversation and making us think in different directions.  I asked myself the same question I asked you last night.  "If I only had that toy compass as my basic parts how would I build an implantable compass?"

    The shoulder wouldn't be a great place to put it because there is a lot of muscle and tendon movement.  On top of that, backpack straps put a lot of pressure on that location.  Not to mention seatbelts.

    Keep the ideas coming, I would love to see what would happen if everyone asked themselves, "How would I make something amazing if I only had these simple parts?"
  • Is there any location along the top of the arm between the elbow and wrist? I would imagine that the size of the implant would be the biggest factor for that?

    Otherwise how realistic would it be to get it done in the thigh? I am not terribly familiar with the nerves, muscles and veins in there however I imagine there should be some location that could leave some space for a pocket.
  • I had a piercing in my forearm and let me tell you how ANNOYING that was.  It snagged on everything or banged against any table within spitting distance.  Never healed because the skin in that area is constantly flexing and moving.  There is the bigger issue of orientation though.  Even if you got a small compass under the skin it would have to be nearly level to work.  A location like an ankle is generally vertical and a shoulder is generally horizontal during waking hours.

    Lepht Anonym mentioned the issue of orientation in its speech at Cybernetics for the Masses.  Spherical compasses are the only example I can think of where a compass works well at any direction.

    Spherical compass

    I have tried to work with spherical magnets but they want to point DOWN of all things.  So weird.  If someone can explain that phenomenon I would be grateful.

    The thigh is a good idea because it works anytime you're upright so it's good for everything except driving and recumbent biking.  Also luging would be problematic.  I'm sure you all immediately thought of luging.

    Orientation has been a constant plague and if anyone has ideas please share.
  • are there any types of 3d compasses? so that if you were to rotate it (think of pitching in a plane), it will still point north? if so, you could mount it inside a sphere, with an enlarged back plate on the whisker, enlarging the range where the whisker would be 'triggered'?
    just a thought
  • @Wisven, are you thinking of a gimbal?  The Wikipedia page coincidentally shows an early dry compass supported by a gimbal and some nifty animated images.  A regular gimbal would have structural pieces in the way which would interfere with the way the compass touches the whisker but I think that it is a line of thought worth pursuing.  The whisker is still only one way to make the compass haptic so if another method uses a gimbal and can still be felt I'm all for it.

    The renewed interest in this project has been awesome.  The more feedback and suggestions I see the more thought I want to devote to seeing this become a reality.
  • Would it be possible to have shorter/less sensitive whiskers is many places such as NW or SE and make longer/more sensitive whiskers for the main 4 points? This might at first give the impression of constant direction changing I am sure. Although with time I imagine the mind can interpret which whiskers cause more feelings and then can help point the mind towards the main directions.

    I apologize ahead of time if that doesn't make the most sense. I am heading off to bed after a rather long day and wanted to get this idea out before I forgot about it in the morning. I can clarify if needed and will edit it accordingly if necessary.
  • edited April 2014

    Ok, the image didnt work, so it's this.
    This was just a very quick idea, with the magnet (the bottom thing) rotating around those prongs, and the prong-assembly rotating around in the thing at the top. this would allow the magnet to always face north, without anything between it and the whisker. not shown was my idea of enlarging the back-plate on the whisker, and making the north side of the magnet stand proud a bit, in order to catch it.

  • edited April 2014
    I dont know if this will be useful/possible, but why not use a tubular compass, implant it and then in front of it we put a microdermal like this 
     And then, on the part that got screwed on the base we build a reed switch, that turns on a light or whatever that notifies us that we are heading to the north. 
    I have a kind of diagram here:

  • edited April 2014

    Of course we will need to charge the thing that will notify us (not on the diagram)
  • @Wisven, could you explain the parts in your image?  A side view may also help.  Is there an existing device that uses similar mechanisms we could examine?

    @Jack_Sylvane, I like where you're going with that.  I think that an external component kind of defeats the purpose but a reed switch is inspired especially if a small internal generator can be implemented to deliver shocks as an electrode.
    I grabbed a reed switch I had in my tool box and held it next to a compass with small magnets to see if the iron in the switch would interfere with the compass.
    It did.
  • McSTUFF  I dont know if its possible, but could we use a different material for the compass? Lets say titanium? So It wont interfere with the reed switch? On other topic,  why not somehow use a solar panel under or attached to the skin to create the shock you are talking about? I think that the quantity of light going through your skin will be ok to power the solar panel. Again, I dont know if Im saying something possible or just stupid things, Im just thinking out loud
  • sure, i'll have a go. effectively it's an axle, with the magnet (diametrically magnetized) being the wheel, rotating about the X axis. the "axle" can rotate around the Y axis. this means that the magnet will always be able to point north, no matter what orientation.

    You couldnt use any other materials - both the compass and the reed switch need to be either iron, nickel or cobalt, as they both rely on magnetism. you could have a small, flexible conductor attached to the north pole of the magnet, which when it is in a certain position, meets a contact and allows a current. kind of like your whisker idea, but with a current flowing instead.

  • @Jack_Sylvane, thinking out loud and brainstorming are the purpose of this thread.  The issue with the swtich seems to be the compass magnets are attracted to the ferrous reeds themselves.  Even if the compass were contained in a titanium shell the magnets would still want to point toward the iron.  Maybe a teeeeeeeeeny tiny reed switch wouldn't interfere with the compass but all I have are those big ones.  Next time I place an order

    @Wisven, neat idea using the compass itself as a switch.  I understand your picture better now.  Would I be correct in saying that the design is similar in function to a pan/tilt camera base?  Like they have on security cameras.
  • I will think on something else, lets see how it goes

  • Same here.  I put some work into a prototype that uses a magnet encased in a float.  It's promising so far.
  • @mcstuff yes, you would be. that picture describes perfectly what i meant. just something like that with the north face standing proud, to let it trigger the whisker. sounds great, keep me updated.

  • What about encasing the reed switch in Mu-metal
  • I think we also will need to coat the microdermal in that, or maybe plain titanium will be ok @McStuff is the right one to tell us
  • I think shielding will be unnecessary.  Magnetic shielding, from what I understand, is meant to keep out stray EM fields, which shouldn't affect a compass.  The other kind of magnetic shielding is like the kind on old computer speakers which is meant to isolate a magnetic field like speaker magnets which would mess up CRT monitors.  Neither of these situations apply to a compass so I don't think they'll be necessary.  Besides, the magnetic shield around computer speakers was just an iron cup and putting iron next to a compass is bad news.  Also, putting iron between a compass needle and a reed switch would mean that the switch couldn't even see the compass.

    If anyone knows more about magnetic shielding this would be a good time to chime in.

    To revisit an old post of mine I recently read that the magnetic field of the earth does dip into the earth which is why a spherical magnet will point down.

    Currently I have a cylindrical compass in the works which has 2 moving parts: the spinner and the whisker.  It is a cork with a magnet inside that floats in a cylindrical jar.  A whisker will poke through the side of the jar and be stimulated by a small bump of glue on the cork.  The whisker will be protected by small bumps on the inside of the jar (not show in the above link).  Here's hoping.
  • Yesterday I got a neat little floating compass to spin freely.  The compass spinner has a bump on it so it can stimulate a whisker and there are o-rings in bottom of the container to keep the spinner from bumping into the whisker all the time.  I still have to install a whisker but then I should have a testable model.
    One issue I noticed the next day was that the water was murky which I assume is a problem with the cork deteriorating.  I can seal that up with polyurethane.
  • The only thing we have to work in is making it smaller and bioproof it
  • edited May 2014
    All the posts on biohack, ever, in 15 words. Nailed it Jack.

    sorry, i just thought it was really funny. carry on like i never said anything. I think your project is really cool @McSTUFF...

    ...i'll just see myself out....
  • Before all that I have to see that it works!  This prototype is merely for proof of concept.  The version before this was made out of a keychain flashlight and I couldn't get much out of it so I'm hoping this will have better results.  After than, miniaturize and bioproof.

    Does anyone know if printed titanium is suitable for implantation.  Surely they don't use pure titanium grains when sintering.  Coming up with a workable design for this kind of compass is almost arbitrary compared to making one from parts I can buy at hardware stores and craft stores.

    "Biohack.me: All we have to do now is miniaturize it!"
  • printed titanium is not suitable for implantation with the resources available to us.
    I use that caveat to stop anyone from talking about bioprinted medical implants. yes, those exist. no, they aren't using the toys we play with.
  • Can implantable titanium be machined affordably?  Or implantable stainless steel?
  • I havent worked a whole lot with titanium, but my guess is that you can work with it like every other metal. Even more so for stainless steel. Welding might be tricky tho. Nothing that couldn't be done with good standard industrial equipment.
  • edited May 2014
    glims  Theres also the problem of an implantable power source haha
  • A mechanical engineer I work with mentioned that titanium that is processed in by a standard machine shop will have a high sulfur content to make it easier to work with.  I don't know how that sort of thing is going to behave inside the body and I'm no metallurgist.  Does anyone have more knowledge on what's acceptable versus what's available?

    What about encasing a project in bioinert glass?  Is that sort of thing able to be accomplished by someone without a facility/lab?  I didn't seen glass mentioned on the materials thread.
  • What if the design of the compass worked in conjunction with an implanted magnet? Two spheres inside each other keep the compass free rotating, with a weight on them to always be level. Then, a U strip of magnet within the compass (aligned with north) would stimulate the magnetic implant next to the compass when it turns to the right angle.
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