Every once in a while, we stumble across a project that makes us stop and think, "Wow - that's what people are doing with our products?" Truthfully, that seems to happen to us at least once every day - we are pretty amazed by the continued inventiveness of our customers. Today, we are going to talk about one project that was emailed to tech support a few days back and is just too cool to not pass on. It's called The Tricorder Project - check out the video:
The Tricorder Project is an open-source learning tool developed by SparkFun Customer Peter Jansen. Peter set out to create a real-life Tricorder (like the one from Star Trek fame) that would allow kids (and adults) to experience the world around them in a new way. The Tricorder is outfitted with multiple sensors that allow the user to take measurements (like temperature, atmospheric pressure, etc.) of their environment. As Peter explains in the video, he hopes to turn a "walk in the park into a nature walk."
Peter uses an atmospheric temperature and humidity sensor, an RGB color sensor, a 3-axis magnetometer, an IR thermometer, an IR distance sensor, and a Five Degrees of Freedom board in the latest version of the Tricorder. He wraps that all up in a beautifully designed package that features two LED touchscreens. The whole thing runs on Linux.
This is a fantastic and very polished project. There is a wealth of information on Peter's website, include source files, parts lists, explanations, photos - all the stuff you would need to build your very own. Great work, Peter!