It was inspired by a Ted Talk speaker: David Eagleman who talked about creating new senses for humans
What it does
Patchie receives data from some external source, be it a microphone, sime text data, or even data from a far off weather station - the sky is the limit. Our prototype is an extremely watered down version where it reads text data and maps it to 8 outputs which could then easily be read onto the skin.
How we built it
We used an Arduino as the base for the prototype. We programmed it to receive serial data and mapped its ASCII values to the 8 bit output. After training with the interface for a certain amount of time, it becomes almost natural to understand any information sent over the connection.
Challenges we ran into
The phase 1 prototype output is LEDs, but when trying to switch output to the harmless electrical shocks we do not have the right material to work on.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
For Chris, I learned binary and hexadecimal conversion from decimals, and tiny bit C++ coding. For Steve, I learned the basics of an inverter circuit for DC-AC-DC step up conversion.
What we learned
We learned about power systems in high voltage circuitry as well as designing a product that can be expanded much more in future builds.
What's next for Patchie
Patchie is in its earliest state. Addition of a high voltage source and electrodes to replace the LED fixture, then moving towards smaller and more focused hardware to make the device more ergonomic. Adding a wireless link will also be necessary.