Exploding watermelons with your mind
Games that are played by using your hands are so last year – why not do something a little more fun? For instance, why not explode watermelons ... with your mind? One hackerspace took that idea and ran with it, turning a mind-reading toy into a melon blasting machine.
The set-up, created by Chris and Brad from Louisville, Kentucky-based hackerspace LVL1, uses the Star Wars Force Trainer. It's essentially a consumer level electroencephalograph (EEG), which scans your brain waves. When you reach a certain level of concentration, the device triggers an action.
However, in this case, the payoff for your concentration is far greater than with the off-the-shelf Force Trainer. The original Star Wars-inspired device merely caused a fan to turn on and push a ball up through a plastic tower, so as to mimic Jedi-like telekinetic powers.
LVL1's take on the idea, called Mind over Melon, causes watermelons to explode.
Instead of connecting to a fan, this custom rig links the Force Trainer to an air compressor, the signal being handled by Arduino-based electronics. When concentration reaches an acceptable level, the compressor lets off a burst of air, enough to shred said watermelon to pieces.
While this may not be a production-line device for the masses (yet), we like to think it could prove to be the party game of the future.
Mind over Melon was shown off over the weekend at Connect, a technology and art event held at Bernheim Forest in Louisville.
See local Louisville TV station WHAS11's video of Mind over Melon in action here.