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Newsletter: June 2013


The Puzzlebox Newsletter

Updates from the makers of brain-controlled devices for minds of all kinds

The Puzzlebox Pyramid makes it public debut

The production version of the Puzzlebox Pyramid made its first appearance at the Bay Area Maker Faire (May 18-19). Here it is:

You probably know that the Pyramid was designed to be a stand-alone remote control for the Orbit helicopter. What you may not know is that the Pyramid is also highly hacker-friendly, featuring custom Arduino-compatible circuit boards, Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity and infrared recording and playback.

In plain English, this means Puzzlebox open-sources its CAD files, its hardware designs, and its software, so makers and hackers can modify it to control a wide range of infrared devices with their brainwaves.

The mind-controlled marshmallow crossbow

At Maker Faire, we used the Pyramid’s hardware to communicate with a hand-made marshmallow crossbow and a hacked Airhog foam missile launcher. Then we had parents and their children face off in a battle of attention spans. It was delightful to see young children launching marshmallows at their parents.

After we ship the Pyramid to early buyers, we will write up  a detailed guide to these hacks.
(Thanks to our friends at Atmel for hosting us!)

BCI Meeting: An interview with the maker of the mind-controlled Parrot AR drone

From June 3-7, many of the leading researchers in the brain-computer interface community gathered in Monterey, CA, to share their research, insights and debates with each other.

While we were there, we broke bread with a bunch of awesome people.

One of those people was Alex Doud, whose team at the University of Minnesota just announced its mind-controlled Parrot AR quadricopter. Naturally, we had a lot to talk about, so we took the opportunity to interview him about his work.

Read the interview with Alex on the Puzzlebox blog >>

Writeups for Puzzlebox in Boing Boing and Wired UK

Boing Boing’s David Pescovitz went to Maker Faire and had some nice things to say about the Orbit.

Meanwhile, in the latest edition of Wired UK, writer Madhumita Venkataramanan profiled Steve and the Orbit Helicopter. “Mind-controlled toys,” she writes, “are really taking off.”

We see what she did there.


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