It’s one of the simplest acts most people can perform, but just wiggling your finger is a vastly complex process under the hood. Once you consciously decide to move your digit, a cascade of electrochemical reactions courses from the brain down the spinal cord and along nerves to reach the muscles fibers of the forearm, where still more reactions occur to stimulate the muscle fibers and cause them to contract, setting that finger to wiggling.
The electrical activity going on inside you while you’re moving your muscles is actually strong enough to make it to the skin, and is detectable using electromyography, or EMG. But just because a signal exists doesn’t mean it’s trivial to make use of. Teasing a usable signal from one muscle group amidst the noise from everything else going on in a human body can be a chore, but not an insurmountable one, even for the home gamer.
To make EMG a little easier, our host for this Hack Chat, hut, has been hard at work on PsyLink, a line of prototype EMG interfaces that can be used to detect muscle movements and use them to control whatever you want. In this Hack Chat, we’ll dive into EMG in general and PsyLink in particular, and find out how to put our muscles to work for something other than wiggling our fingers.
Our Hack Chats are live community events in the Hackaday.io Hack Chat group messaging. This week we’ll be sitting down on Wednesday, January 19 at 12:00 PM Pacific time. If time zones have you tied up, we have a handy time zone converter.
After 30 Years, Genetic Study Confirms Sarin Nerve Gas As Cause of Gulf War Illness
Troops who had genes that help metabolize sarin nerve gas were less likely to develop symptoms. For three decades, scientists have debated the underlying cause…
The post After 30 Years, Genetic Study Confirms Sarin Nerve Gas As Cause of Gulf War Illness appeared first on SciTechDaily.
Original Source: scitechdaily.com
Vicious Little Desktop Shredder Pulverizes Plastic Waste
We’ve all likely seen video of the enormous industrial shredders that eat engine blocks for lunch and spit out a stream of fine metal chips. The raw power of these metal-munching monsters is truly fearsome, and they appear to be the inspiration for SHREDII, the miniature plastic shredder for at-home recycling of plastic waste.
The fact that SHREDII isn’t all that large doesn’t make it any less dangerous, at least to things smaller and softer than engine blocks, like say fingers. The core of the shredder is a hexagonal axle carrying multiple laser-cut, sheet steel blades. The rotating blades are spaced out along the axle so they nest between a bed of stationary blades; rotating the common axle produces the shearing and cutting action needed to shred plastic.
On version one of the shredder, each blade had two hooked teeth, and the whole cutting head was made from relatively thick steel. When driven by a NEMA 34 stepper — an admittedly odd choice but it’s what they could get quickly — through a 50:1 planetary gearbox, the shredder certainly did the business. The shreds were a little too chunky, though, so version two used thinner steel for the blades and gave the rotary blades more teeth. The difference was substantial — much finer shreds that were suitable for INJEKTO, their homebrew direct-feed injection molding machine.
There’s a lot to be said for closing the loop on plastics used in desktop manufacturing processes, and the team of SHREDII and INJEKTO stands to help the home gamer effectively reuse plastic waste. And while that’s all to the good, let’s face it — the oddly satisfying experience of watching a shredder like this chew through plastic like it isn’t even there is plenty of reason to build something like this.
Thanks for the tip, [Alen]!
Original Source: hackaday.com
Intense Exercise While Dieting May Reduce Cravings for High-Fat Food
In a new study that offers hope for human dieters, rats on a 30-day diet who exercised intensely resisted cues for favored, high-fat food pellets….
The post Intense Exercise While Dieting May Reduce Cravings for High-Fat Food appeared first on SciTechDaily.
Source Here: scitechdaily.com
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