Applied Robotics in assistance to internal devices.

edited February 2015 in Everything else
What would the prevalence of, say, a bot that could bring you something at the click of an internal button be? using small chips (RFID or otherwise) may work. What's your opinion?


  • Well, people are doing something along those lines, like hooking up implants to a home automation system.  So, the scenario you mention is at least possible in theory.  Ultimately, what you need (in increasing order of difficulty) is an implant with wireless data transfer capabilities, some set of commands that the implant can send and some means of making it send those commands, and a bot that is capable of receiving the signals and doing what you want it to do.
  • @Ian Almost like a Wi-Fi chip that GoPro uses in their cameras? You can sync to them wirelessly through your browser. Though then comes the problem of powering such a thing.
  • I picture an implant like that may even have a possible effect on the disabled. Rather than a nurse assisting you you could press a button on your skin (or even on your browser) to deliver things to you.
  • A Wi-Fi chip is probably not an option here; those things eat energy like there's no tomorrow.  You'd probably be better off with Bluetooth, which isn't particularly low-power either but at least is reasonable; and most Bluetooth chips have a sleep mode anyway.  Then you can sync with it using a phone app.

    Instead of a button, there are various devices that are sensitive to being tapped, such as an accelerometer breakout I'm currently working with.  That may work better under the skin.
  • edited January 2014
    Your post prompted me to actually do a little research on a similar idea I'd been having using the magnets a lot of people are getting implanted into their fingers.

    For the user side I agree Bluetooth would be probably be best with the new low energy standard and its just so common. To read commands, using a magnetic finger implant(or plain vanilla magnet pen) I'd use this:

    It's a 3D magnet position sensor I've seen priced for $7 for single purchases. I don't know the ultimate range but one of the graphs showed magnet displacements between +/- 10 mm. Even with implant losses that should be enough to detect simple 2D motions at worst. Toss in a cheap uC, power supply, random components and voila. Decent amount of hardware and software design time but nothing impossible.

    As for the different applications...the sky's the limit there. Things like controlling lights and anything bluetooth (locks, speakers, etc.) would be fairly simple but setting, say, your oven temp..that hasn't been standardized yet so you'd have to design custom hardware for each model hopefully with the support of the company. But it's all possible.

    Any other electrical engineers out there? This is a project I'd dedicate time to.
  • Lots of smartphones have magnetometers in them. Is this relevant?
  • edited January 2014
    There's actually a thread on that:

    I'm not sure how easy hacking the MagiTact mentioned on there would be, probably easier to design a unique program and a project like that reeks of DSP and algorithms...not my cup of tea if I can avoid it. I could be wrong and maybe the code is already implemented for position detection in which case..awesome!

    It's definitely a relevant idea though, much safer, easier, and faster than designing an implant from scratch. But still....not as cool as implants ; )
  • Haven't experimented with a lot of BlueTooth devices before, from what I hear they're kind of hard to implant and use independently, Again, just going off of what I hear and read. I HAVE however been doing some Arduino/RaspPi experimentation with the wi-fi adapter and found some strange properties, such as forced delay, and a few other forced shortcomings. Obviously (compared to BlueTooth) Wi-fi will have a few second delay. But fresh out of the box it has a delay of more than 10 seconds built in.
  • edited January 2014
    With my fields of study falling on Electrical Engineering and Applied Robotics, I feel this should be right up my alley.

  • edited January 2014
    Also going with @MattGuy here, We should start a thread on where the best places are to find components. I know AliExpress is cheap, but What about tested quality?
  • As for wireless communication: ANT ( )
    Just as low power as the new bluetooth, comes as little advertised feature in many new chips. Compared to bluetooth it's a lot easier to work with and has a very flexible connectivity system. It's pretty much designed for this very purpose.

    Part sources... mouser, farnell, digikey, etc. pretty much all big distributors. Add a couple of smaller ones for certain countries. Like reichelt or conrad may be a good choice for germany and nearby regions.
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