We started off the Hackathon with zero ideas and a love for Kanye, which resulted in our first idea: SavePablo, a health tracking app which automatically donates money to Kanye West if the user fails to meet their daily workout goals. However, we got scared of the PayPal API and wanted to use hardware. Without any experience in hardware, we decided to start small, and experiment with a Myo armband. 17 hours into the hackathon, we came up with the idea: a massage chair controlled with a Myo.
What it does
Through various motions and gestures detected by the Myo armband, one can control the area of their back they want massaged.
How we built it
First we set up a webserver to manage communication between the 8 smartphones and Pebbles. Next, we wrote a Pebble app that vibrated in response to HTTP requests from the webserver. Finally, we wrote an interface that generated HTTP posts based on the current gesture or motion.
Challenges we ran into
From the very inception of our idea, we ran into challenges. The original plan was to use vibration motors for the massaging but they were all checked out. One organizer realized we could repurpose Pebble smartwatches to act as vibration motors but to communicate with 8 Pebbles we needed a Bluetooth module, which all happened to be checked out as well. And thus, we settled with having one smartphone communicate with each Pebble.
The Myo armband was quite difficult to calibrate and throughout the weekend we had to revise our design in order to match the capabilities of the Myo.
We tried setting up a website for the application, but we were only able to set up the webserver host due to delays in propagating nameserver changes.
What's next for 8Pebbles
Since the webserver we set up was a free trial server from Amazon web-services, it will have to be taken down at the end of this hackathon. If we had a finer grained massage array and a finer tuned method of specifying areas on the grid, 8Pebbles could have come close to a working product.