'Master The Force' To Explode Watermelons!
How often have you wished you could be like Luke Skywalker and master the 'force' of your mind to make things happen. Now thanks to two Louisville residents your wish may be granted. The only difference? Instead of being able to lift ships from murky swamps, you will have the power to explode watermelons!
Brad and Chris who are members of Kentucky-based hackerspace LVL1, an open community where engineers, scientists, educators and artists come together to create fun projects, began with a Star Wars Force Trainer. Based on technology that has been used by heart specialists for many years, the toy comprises of a wireless headset and a 10-inch tall clear plastic tower with a ping-pong ball inside. When the player puts on the headset that is programmed to read brain activity and focuses intently on the ball, it activates a training remote situated at the base of the tower which in turn, creates a flow of air that helps the ball rise within the tower.
The two tweaked the toy such that instead of connecting to a fan, it was linked to an air compressor that was monitored by an Arduino-based electronic device capable of sensing the concentration of the person attempting to explode the melon. When the signals reached an acceptable level the device activated the compressor, which released a burst of air, powerful enough to shred the watermelon to pieces.
The 'Mind over Melon' project was demonstrated at an art and science festival held in Clermont, Kentucky on August 25th where some lucky people got to test their concentration levels. Unfortunately, the two have no plans to turn their brilliant invention into a commercial toy. Craig is just happy to have fulfilled his lifelong dream of being able to explode an object, using the power of his mind!